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Pollen structure visualization using high-resolution laboratory-based hard X-ray tomography

: Li, Qiong; Gluch, Jürgen; Krüger, Peter; Gall, Martin; Neinhuis, Christoph; Zschech, Ehrenfried


Biochemical and biophysical research communications 479 (2016), No.2, pp.272-276
ISSN: 0006-291X
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IKTS ()
noninvasive imaging; pollen grain; zernike phase contrast; three dimensional visualization

A laboratory-based X-ray microscope is used to investigate the 3D structure of unstained whole pollen grains. For the first time, high-resolution laboratory-based hard X-ray microscopy is applied to study pollen grains. Based on the efficient acquisition of statistically relevant information-rich images using Zernike phase contrast, both surface- and internal structures of pine pollen - including exine, intine and cellular structures - are clearly visualized. The specific volumes of these structures are calculated from the tomographic data. The systematic three-dimensional study of pollen grains provides morphological and structural information about taxonomic characters that are essential in palynology. Such studies have a direct impact on disciplines such as forestry, agriculture, horticulture, plant breeding and biodiversity.