Water Content, Membrane State and Pollen Physiology

  • C. Dumas
  • C. Kerhoas
  • G. Gay
  • T. Gaude
Conference paper


The living pollen grain is generally a dehydrated organism except where pollination is through the medium of water. The pollen grains are largely insulated from their surroundings by a complex pollen wall and their water content varie considerably between low water content (W.C.) species e.g. 6% in poplar pollen, 8% in Brassica oleracea and 60% in Zea mays. In the literature, little information is available on pollen longevity, generally estimated directly by the ability to get the seed (see Knox 1984; Kerhoas and Dumas in press). We demonstrated previously there is no water content expenditure in viable pollen of Brassica under isothermic conditions, suggesting that the water content is regulated within certain limiting temperatures and relative humidities (R.H.) (Dumas et al. 1983). This characteristic is perhaps mediated by the plasma membrane or the wall of the pollen grain surrounded by its pollen coat. This may be an important adaptation for pollen survival during dispersal.


Pollen Viability Fluorescein Diacetate Pollen Quality Cucurbita Pepo Pollen Coat 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Dumas
  • C. Kerhoas
  • G. Gay
  • T. Gaude
    • 1
  1. 1.Université Cl. Bernard-LYON I, R.C.A.P., UM CNRS 380024Villeubbanne, Cedex 02France

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