Honorable Mention - Elliot Gardner

Graduate Student, Department of Plant Biology and Conservation

“Understanding Plant Pollination”

Understanding how plants are pollinated is crucial for new crop development, as successful breeding and fruit production usually depend on pollination. This image shows a stamen on a male flower head of an Artocarpus lanceifolius tree. Native to Southeast Asia, this species produces large tasty fruits but is not widely cultivated.

In the image, the anther (top) has opened, releasing pollen grains (colored yellow). Underneath the anther are spur-like hairs, whose significance is not yet known. Artocarpus lanceifolius, with no apparent sticky coating on its pollen grains and no known flower scent, may be wind pollinated. But, Gardner and his colleagues will need to collect more data to know for sure.

Technique: Scanning electron microscopy, false coloring