Alstroemeria pollen imaged with SEM by combining the backscattered and secondary electron signals.
Each year we work with lecturers to provide microscopy practicals. This week we have several groups of undergraduate students imaging different pollen structures. Pollen is very easy to prepare for SEM and is beautiful when imaged. The diversity in structure is very impressive. Each time we run the practicals I try to put in a type of pollen that I have not seen before. This year it is alstroemeria (Peruvian lily), which has an amazing surface structure (pictured left). Different types of pollen from previous years are shown below. The images are coloured by Louise Hughes.