Graduate Review


Pollen grain size has been regularly used as an indicator of the ploidy level in plants. It has been demonstrated in some plants and assumed in others that the larger the pollen, the higher the level of ploidy. However, very little work has been done to confirm that this rule is accurate in at least the majority of cases. Most correlations of pollen grain size to ploidy level have been a side note in other research and have not considered the theoretical and genomic implications involved in such a measurement. While much of the literature presents ploidy level as being correlated with pollen grain size, there are some hints that the association might actually be with C-value. It is thus important to ensure that pollen grains are an accurate indicator of ploidy level if they are to continue to be used as such in the literature.

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