Applications of fluorochromes to pollen biology. I. Mithramycin and 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) as vital stains and for quantitation of nuclear DNA

Stain Technol. 1985 May;60(3):145-54. doi: 10.3109/10520298509113905.


The two DNA-specific fluorochromes DAPI and mithramycin have been found to be extremely useful dyes in studies of pollen development and growth. Both fluorochromes stain nuclei brilliantly either in fixed or in living tricellular and bicellular angiosperm pollen, thereby permitting rapid scanning for pollen abnormalities and easy observation of nuclear details. These water soluble dyes can be incorporated into the germination medium for studies of pollen germination in vitro, facilitating observation of the movement of generative, sperm and tube nuclei during pollen growth. In fixed pollen, the fluorochromes bind quantitatively with DNA and thus may be used to quantitate ploidy changes and to study cell cycles during pollen development, germination and fertilization.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • DNA / analysis*
  • Fluorescent Dyes*
  • Indoles*
  • Plicamycin*
  • Pollen / analysis*
  • Staining and Labeling


  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Indoles
  • DAPI
  • DNA
  • Plicamycin