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Nature prefers asymmetrical pollen grains, study finds

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-02/uota-npa021219.php
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Feb 12, 2019 12:00 AM 2+ mon ago

Nature prefers asymmetrical pollen grains, study finds

Credit: SEM images: Asja Radja; Simulations: Asja Radja and Maxim Lavrentovich.

A study published in Cell sheds some light on the subject, showing that plants favor the production of uneven, asymmetrical patterns on the surface of pollen grains over more symmetrical patterns.

"The pollen wall itself--the surface of a pollen grain--serves the important function of protecting the pollen grain genetic material from the environment as the pollen travels during the process of pollination. However, the function of the precise pattern on this surface is not well understood," said Maxim Lavrentovich, assistant professor of theoretical biophysics in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and coauthor of the study.

Researchers observed that in approximately 10 percent of living plant species the formation of symmetrical, identical, and reproducible pollen grains occurs when the phase separation of pollen production ...

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