How to Use
Pollen Microscopy prior to Identification
- Examine your pollen types recovered from samples of different sources and mounted between the thin micro-slide(s) and cover-glass(es) using mounting media such as glycerine jelly, glycerine etc. When glycerine is used as mountant, it is possible to rotate one particular pollen by gently pressing the cover-glass near the pollen with a fine needle under the microscope to get its different views thus enabling the “palynologist” to discern its characters.
- Prepare microphotographs of pollen types in different views showing various characters preferably at x1000 to facilitate identification with the software.
- Palynograms (cf. Erdtman, G., 1952- Pollen morphology and Taxonomy. Angiosperms) of the pollen types to be identified may be also used for the computer- aided identification of pollen types.
- Or, the software-aided identification of pollen types and the pollen analysis can also
be done simultaneously having a PC, or a laptop by the side of a microscope.
The Composite Profile Interface
Fig. 1. The opening interface with the initially accessible characters’ frames (15/25) including tip-texts, each being linked to its character states. 1: Colporate Pollen in Equatorial view; 2: Colporate Pollen in Polar view & 3: Porate Pollen in Polar view. The two buttons at the top right read Search and Results. Note the Percentage of Similarity.
The graphical interface starting with 15/25 frames (10 of them “indirectly” linked) is provided with: The Title bar; The Main Menu bar; The Toolbar & The Status bar.
Search & Results: Displayed on the Composite Profile Interface initially and after every validated graphical entry. After selecting several key characters via characters’ frames (see Fig. 1) clicking Search button brings the ‘Next’ discriminant characteristic interface with its states. This is possible only if the percentage of similarity indicates more than one species at 100%.
Select & Cancel: Displayed on the selected character interface. A click on either of these buttons will get you back to the Composite Profile Interface (the identikit).
Limitations of the Tool
This tool underscores the utility of Information Technologies in basic and applied Palynological studies. A multimedia self-tutoring tool, it will promote capacity-building in micro-taxonomic Pollen Science. Although tentative pollen typification is given for the listed taxa, authentication of some pollen types with overlapping characters should be done with discretion: : check your identification with the pollen slide collections housed at the Palynology Laboratories at the French Institute of Pondicherry (Institut Français de Pondichéry, India, IFP), Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute, Thiruvanathapuram, Kerala, India (TBGRI) and others. For more information on precise typification of pollen taxa, the users are referred to 8 volumes of Bibliographic Index to the Pollen Morphology of Angiosperms from 1972 to 1999.