Grid for pollen measurement

A meeting place for rose breeders.
jbergeson
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Grid for pollen measurement

Post: # 70110Post jbergeson
Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:40 pm

A few years ago a friend who is a professor of genetics gave me the gift of a pocket microscope. It is just an aluminum tube the diameter of a pen and about four inches long and you just look into it and rock it forward or back to focus. A black Folgers coffee lid is an ideal substrate for viewing the pollen, and I hold my iPhone's flashlight to the side to illuminate it. It is 40X magnification.

The microscope has been handy and fun. If the pollen grains look like uniform, plump, eggs I can be pretty sure that the pollen is fertile and the rose producing it is not a triploid. On the other hand, some roses produce pollen that is "glumpy" and has nary an egg-like pollen grain to be seen. In my experience such pollen will be difficult or impossible to work with. So if I have a promising seedling and want to breed with it, my first step is to look at the pollen under the microscope. This has been really handy for first generation rugosa x modern seedlings, which are often but not always completely sterile.

I just ordered a microscope that will hopefully hook up to my phone, give me a little more magnification, and allow me to easily snap pics of different pollens.

I hopped on the internet to order a microscopic grid plate. Perhaps a black glass surface with tiny, microscopic grid lines of 0.1 mm spacing. What the heck? There appears to be no such thing on the internet. It seems like such a no-brainer for eyeballing the relative diameter of tiny objects such as pollen grains. I'd like to photograph the pollen of different roses against such a grid so it would be easy to compare the relative diameter of different roses' pollen.

If you run across such a grid plate, please let me know. I will reward you with many photos of pollen grains.

henry kuska
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Re: Grid for pollen measurement

Post: # 70111Post henry kuska
Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:00 am

Use the keywords microscopic calibration in an ebay search.


jbergeson
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Re: Grid for pollen measurement

Post: # 70115Post jbergeson
Tue Jul 23, 2019 5:57 pm

OK, the "microscope" that I ordered to work with my iPhone is a disappointment. It doesn't focus well and hangs up (wifi connected).

Tbat's this one: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07DQJPZ41/

But the other pocket scope I ordered is really cool. This one:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LAX52IQ/

I highly recommend that second pocket scope. It's only $13 on Amazon Prime. The ideal surface upon which to view pollen is the top of a Folger's coffee can lid. The black plastic is textured slighly so if you have a good blob of pollen you can smear it with your finger to distribute the pollen grains evenly. It is magical to see the translucent golden eggs under 120X magnification.

I think it could help determine if a plant is diploid, triploid, or tetraploid. Triploids will usually have mixed pollen sizes (correct me if I'm wrong). I have a rugosa x Miracle on the Hudson seedling which I suspected was a diploid due to it retaining strong rugosa characteristics while appearing to be a hybrid. Sure enough the pollen grains are beautiful, well-shaped, and uniform. (now how to move forward? what was I wanting a rugosa x modern hybrid for again?)

It is useful for checking out if my first generation rugosa x modern hybrids, which are often sterile, have any good pollen. Seems like that could save some wasted effort.

I just wish I could find something that made it easy to take pics of pollen. I want to document and share photos of various roses' pollen. The attached photo is just from putting my phone over the eyepiece of the pocket scope.
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Plazbo
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Re: Grid for pollen measurement

Post: # 70116Post Plazbo
Tue Jul 23, 2019 10:15 pm

Thank you for this thread, I never realised it'd be so easy an inexpensive.

Margit Schowalter
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Re: Grid for pollen measurement

Post: # 70118Post Margit Schowalter
Thu Jul 25, 2019 11:40 am

Thanks Joe. I often use frozen pollen and check for viability with a standard microscope. The pocket microscope will sure be faster than fussing around preparing slides.

philip_la
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Re: Grid for pollen measurement

Post: # 70120Post philip_la
Fri Jul 26, 2019 12:36 am

Cool! Slightly OT, but I'm curious as to what kind of magnification would be required to view root-squashes to determine ploidy? I'm assuming that's requires a heckuva lot more magnification?
Philip F.
[size=small][color=#669966]Zone 8 / Sunset Zn 30 (Austin, TX -- formerly New Orleans, LA)[/color][/size]


jbergeson
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Re: Grid for pollen measurement

Post: # 70124Post jbergeson
Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:04 am

I wish Henry's pollen pics were still up.

Roselynn
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Location: Zone 3b; north of city of Calgary; Alberta, Canada
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Re: Grid for pollen measurement

Post: # 70258Post Roselynn
Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:02 pm

Thanks Joe for the suggestion for this pocket microscope. Got mine in the mail today. Really neat. Here’s some just picked Snow Pavement diploid pollen. Getting the cellphone to take a decent photo was a challenge. It’s more clear/focused to the eye.
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Roselynn W.
Canada Zone 3b. North of Calgary, Alberta (52°N)
Prairies, Chinook winds, 3500 feet altitude. Novice.

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