blog navigation

blog posts

  • Numerical method trumps descriptive approach to classifying pollen grains

    A team of researchers at the University of Illinois used scanning electron microscopy to produce detailed images of whole pollen grains like that of the Poa australis species shown here, left. A computer program then used the high-resolution grain surface patterns, right, to classify and identify the species of grass pollen.

    A team of researchers at the University of Illinois used scanning electron microscopy to produce detailed images of whole pollen grains like that of the Poa australis species shown here, left. A computer program then used the high-resolution grain surface patterns, right, to classify and identify the species of grass pollen.

    Photo by Luke Mander

    Images

    • Close

      A team of researchers at the University of Illinois used scanning electron microscopy to produce detailed images of whole pollen grains like that of the Poa australis species shown here, left. A computer program then used the high-resolution grain surface patterns, right, to classify and identify the species of grass pollen.

      Photo by Luke Mander

      PrevNext
    • Close

      Luke Mander, a former postdoctoral researcher in the lab of Illinois professor of plant biology Surangi Punyasena, led a team of researchers in the development of a method of identifying pollen grains through scanning electron microscopy and surface analysis. This quantitative--rather than qualitative--approach potentially brings an end to the classification problems that have vexed pollen scientists since the field's inception. Mander is shown here holding a small beech tree seedling.

      Photo courtesy Luke Mander

      PrevNext

blog posts


  • To reach Surangi Punyasena, call 217-244-8049; email punyasena@life.illinois.edu. The paper, “Classification of Grass Pollen Through the Quantitative Analysis of Surface Ornamentation and Texture,” is available online or from the U. of I. News Bureau.