Notices
Results 1 to 3 of 3

Thread: Ancient Pollen

  1. #1 Ancient Pollen 
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Driving in my car
    Posts
    5,890
    Read an article about some prehistoric beetle found encased in amber. Along with the insect, scientists found 62 grains of pollen. I donít know if they can actually do this but is it possible to remove individual pollen grains from amber without damaging them? If so how?

    AlsoÖ.Iím not sure how long pollen can survive and even though I think a grain of pollen is a living thing, I noticed searching Google that there are some folks who donít think it is alive. Regardless I canít see pollen surviving millions of years in a rock but has pollen been successfully extracted if only to verify live or dead? Or do they use thin slices of the amber that contains the grain to observe under microscope?


    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    Forum Masters Degree Double Helix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2020
    Posts
    571
    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    Read an article about some prehistoric beetle found encased in amber. Along with the insect, scientists found 62 grains of pollen. I don’t know if they can actually do this but is it possible to remove individual pollen grains from amber without damaging them? If so how?

    Also….I’m not sure how long pollen can survive and even though I think a grain of pollen is a living thing, I noticed searching Google that there are some folks who don’t think it is alive. Regardless I can’t see pollen surviving millions of years in a rock but has pollen been successfully extracted if only to verify live or dead? Or do they use thin slices of the amber that contains the grain to observe under microscope?
    Pollen is considered to be alive as it contains vegetative cells other than just the male gametes. But lacking the female end of things, it cannot become a plant since it is not complete, as you probably know.

    There is not much to be found on extracting pollen from amber. But did find one article from a French Journal which has the abstract in English, which gives some idea about what has been accomplished*.

    Anything from amber is very old, and has been subjected to background radiation for long periods of time. It is unlikely that anything would still be alive after all that time. It might be possible however to recover some DNA fragments from various samples. It would seem that some will try.


    "Pollen extraction from amber (Sparnacian of Le Quesnoy, Paris Basin): towards a new speciality in palaeo-palynology."

    * https://www.sciencedirect.com/scienc...269?via%3Dihub


    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Driving in my car
    Posts
    5,890
    From link:
    . An extraction method has been devised in order to observe it under light and scanning electron microscopes. This method consists of a partial dissolution of the amber by organic solvents, which softens it and enables dissection of the fragments.
    Ah….I wondered how they did that. Also read where they heat the amber to soften it but wasn’t sure if that method damaged the grains.

    Not expecting millions of years old pollen to still be alive. They would need the female plant anyways … I think. Thanks for the link
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
    Reply With Quote  
     

Similar Threads

  1. pollen
    By pineapple007 in forum Environmental Issues
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: May 10th, 2013, 11:02 AM
  2. Bee Pollen
    By Some in forum Health & Medicine
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: April 15th, 2013, 06:10 PM
  3. Ancient languages
    By Zwirko in forum History
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: June 29th, 2011, 12:30 AM
  4. Ancient DNA
    By heliska in forum Biology
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: April 12th, 2006, 02:54 PM
Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •