Pollen classification

Anderson sends the following concerning classification of pollen for semi-sterility, etc. "We cut out some blocks of light redwood, bored holes in them like this (image) and attached handles. Usually we have 96 holes (8 rows of 12). We collect pollen only in the forenoon. No tags are used. We write the family number on the block and then check the plants collected in the record book, skipping a hole as we pass from one family to the next for safety. The pollen sheds plentifully especially after an hour or more. Tapping the tassel over a slide gives lots of pollen which we look at dry. When pollen is plentiful it is easier to classify dry than in a KI-I preparation. You get used to shriveled pollen after a while so it doesn't bother much. If it is too shriveled we put on a drop of weak iodine solution."

Anderson states that his assistant has made as many as 800 classifications in a single day.

Leitz makes a small pocket microscope (Tauschen Mikroskop) which sells for about $14.00. This pocket microscope can be used in classifying pollen in the field. It is a very fast and convenient method but can be used only when the anthers are shedding pollen. On a quiet morning, however, it is possible to work for several hours before the pollen has been completely shed.