Spewing Sperm Cargo
Scanning electron micrograph of the microfluidic device used to expose in vitro growing pollen tubes to narrow openings. They found that when the channels were wider, the pollen tube passed through without deforming much. But when the opening was too narrow, the tubes simply burst — spewing their precious sperm cargo.
Scanning electron micrograph of two germinated lily pollen grains with pollen tubes (false-colored).
Growing pollen tube
Detail of a lily pollen grain with an emerging pollen tube (scanning electron micrograph).
Persistent pollen tube
Here, a pollen tube growing through a microscopic gap of the microfluidic device, helping researchers understand how a pollen tubes drills through the tissue of a female plant.
A pollen tube before and after bursting and releasing its onboard sperm cells.