Pollen grains are everywhere - in the air, in the water, in soil and in the food we eat. Pollen has direct relevance in agriculture, horticulture, plant breeding, crop improvement and biotechnology. They are further of use for montioring cytotoxic effects - by herbicides, pesticides and pollutants - testing for allergic reactions, and for basic studies on gene expression, research on differentiation and polarity. Detailed instructions of the standard techniques, which have all been tested and improvised by the authors, are given, such as collection and storage of pollen, pollen culture, germination, tests for viability, incompatibility and isolation of protoplasts. Introduced by an explanation of the principles involved, the step-by step protocols are complemented by personal notes and precautions, specifying the reagents used and various appendices on basic and specific requirements for laboratory exercises on pollen.
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