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Protoplasma. 2006 Aug;228(1-3):73-7. Epub 2006 Aug 31.

Pollen carbohydrates and water content during development, presentation, and dispersal: a short review.

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Department of Environmental Sciences, Siena University, Siena, Italy.


Pollen accumulates starch reserves during development and the final stage of ripening. Before the anther opens, starch is totally or partially converted to pectins, glucose, fructose, sucrose, and to some unknown polysaccharides. Pollen is exposed to dispersing agents in an arrested developmental state which differs according to pollen water content. Pollen is classified as partially dehydrated or partially hydrated. The final water content may be reached before or after anther opening. Especially during exposure and dispersal, partially dehydrated pollen may interconvert soluble and insoluble reserves, modifying internal turgor pressure and hindering water loss or gain. Partially hydrated pollen is commonly devoid of mechanisms to conserve viability in time but has the advantage of quickly emitting pollen tubes on reaching the stigma.

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