posted on Feb, 4 2010 @ 11:50 AM
I just stumbled on a spectacular site and thought i`d share some of that with you. The pictures i like to present to you are from Martin Oeggerli a
molecular biologist, photographer and artist. He opens up new perspectives on the lives of the tiniest lifeforms. Using a scanning electron
microscope, he takes for example images of pollen and bacteria before painstakingly colouring them electronically.
This is just a tiny fraction of his work the rest you can see on his gallery
Lodged in the rumpled tissue of a Viburnum tinus
stigma, pollen grains from other snowball blossoms (gray) swell with moisture. One (at center)
is already growing the tube that delivers sperm to the ovule. Other species' pollen (yellow and green) has landed amiss; genetic defenses exclude
them from the fertilization race.
The size of the grains is measured in millionths of a meter, but the romantic journeys of pollen are epic. The dozens of golden grains that have
successfully reached a Geranium phaeum
flower's stigma must compete to be among the few that achieve fertilization.
The convoluted surface of Chaenomeles sp.
pollen may speed up moisture absorption when the grain lands on a target bloom. "Quick hydration
means faster formation of the pollen tube," says Swiss photographer Martin Oeggerli, a postdoctoral fellow at University Hospital Basel. "That's
important for fertilization."
The fold in a bromeliad grain allows it to shrink as it dries, or swell with moisture, without breaking.
The ridges on water cabbage grains are an unusual pollen surface feature, though the plant is common from Egypt to Argentina.
Venus flytrap grains are more than 15 times bigger than forget-me-not ones: There's no consistent correlation between plant and pollen size.