The processes associated with pollen germination were studied in vitro for two tree species, Salix caprea and Fraxinus excelsior under different nutrient conditions. The results provide evidence of changes in chemical composition of the pollen grains during germination. From the comparison of spectra of the pollen grain body and the growing pollen tube, it can be concluded that there are major chemical differences between these two morphological units. Comparison of germinated and ungerminated pollen grains reveals alterations in the metabolism. Composition of the germinating pollen grain and its morphological units depends on the plant species, but also on the nutrient conditions. The results suggest species-specific utilization of metabolite storage, and potential alterations of the pollen outer coat. Furthermore, discharge of molecules into the nutrient medium may depend on the nutrient conditions in the germination experiments. This has implications for further experiments on dynamic processes in pollen and related plant materials.
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