A simplified method for differential staining of aborted and non-aborted pollen grains

Ross Peterson, Janet P. Slovin, Changbin Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

133 Scopus citations

Abstract

The ability to use chemical staining to discriminate aborted from non-aborted pollen grains has well-known practical applications in agriculture. A commonly used technique for assessing pollen vitality, Alexander's stain, uses chloral hydrate, phenol and mercuric chloride, all of which are highly toxic. We describe here an improved pollen staining technique that avoids the use of a regulated chemical chloral hydrate and two extremely toxic chemicals mercuric chloride and phenol, and requires a much shorter time period for sample preparation and staining. This simplified method is very useful for field studies without high-end equipments such as fluorescence microscopes. Samples can be collected and fixed in the fields and examined in a simple laboratory that has light microscopes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)66-69
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Plant Biology
Volume1
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010

Keywords

  • Alexander's stain
  • Chloral hydrate
  • Phenol
  • Pollen staining

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