pollen storage and materials

J.E. Shields jshields@indy.net
Fri, 12 Aug 2005 16:09:12 PDT
Hi Millie, Joe, Alberto, and all,

I too have used Drierite, zip-top plastic bags, and Eppendorf 
microcentrifuge tubes for years.   I group the anthers in the 
microcentrifuge tubes, 2 to 4 anthers per tube.

I have an expensive drying box; I put the microcentrifuge tubes with their 
freshly collected anthers in the dry box at least overnight.  The 
microcentrifuge tubes are sitting open in styrofoam microtube racks.   I 
keep blue Drierite in dishes sitting in the dry box with the samples being 

  I put a few microcentrifuge tubes (with their anthers) into a single 
zip-top plastic bag, and store this in the freezer.  I don't keep materials 
for more than a few years, and the atmosphere inside a freezer 
(self-defrosting) is probably pretty dry.  Still I would like someday to 
see someone (other than myself) do a careful study of pollen germination 
for bulbs versus moisture content, storage temperature, and time.  You can 
germinate pollen in dilute sugar solutions and see the pollen tubes grow 
under a microscope.  Percent germination of pollen is what one would measure.

For short-term storage, you can store pollen just about any old way.  It is 
when you want to have viable pollen to use a year from now that the details 
begin to become important.

Oh, yes, and I fear that if I tried to regenerate my Drierite in my wife's 
oven, I'd need to find a new home for myself.  It's a lot cheaper to throw 
the spent Drierite away and buy fresh!

Jim Shields
in central Indiana (USA)

Jim Shields             USDA Zone 5             Shields Gardens, Ltd.
P.O. Box 92              WWW:    http://www.shieldsgardens.com/
Westfield, Indiana 46074, USA
Tel. ++1-317-867-3344     or      toll-free 1-866-449-3344 in USA

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