Essential Parts of Flower: Androecium - Advantages and Disadvantages of Pollen Grains

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Notes

The study of honey pollen is called Mellitopalynology.

Disadvantages of Pollen Grains:

  • Pollen allergy: Pollen grains of many species cause severe allergies and bronchial afflictions in some people often leading to chronic respiratory disorders - asthma, bronchitis, etc. It may be mentioned that Parthenium or carrot grass that came into India as a contaminant with imported wheat, has become ubiquitous in occurrence and causes pollen allergy.

Advantages of Pollen Grains:

  1. Pollen Supplements: Bee pollen is rich in nutrients such as high protein, carbohydrates, trace amounts of minerals, unsaturated fat, and vitamins. Therefore, it is used as a dietary supplement and is sold as pollen tablets and syrups. Further, it increases the performance of athletes, race horses and also heals the wounds caused by burns.
  2. Pollen Creams: Pollenkitt is contributed by the tapetum and coloured yellow or orange and is chiefly made of carotenoids or flavonoids. It is an oily layer forming a thick viscous coating over the pollen surface. It attracts insects and protects damage from UV radiation.
  3. Pollen Viability: Pollen Viability refers to the period for which pollen grains remain viable or functional. It depends on the prevailing temperature and humidity. In some cereals such as rice and wheat, pollen grains lose viability within 30 minutes of their release, and in some members of Rosaceae, Leguminoseae, and Solanaceae, they maintain viability for months. You may have heard of storing semen/ sperms of many animals including humans for artificial insemination. It is possible to store pollen grains of a large number of species for years in liquid nitrogen (-196°C). Liquid nitrogen is used to preserve pollen in viable conditions for a prolonged duration. This technique is called cryopreservation and is used to store pollen grains (pollen banks) of economically important crops for breeding programmes.

Pollen Product
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