Introduction New terms Part 1 (A-C) Part 2 (D-H) Part 3 (I-O) Part 4 (P-R) Part 5 (S-Z) Literature

Glossary of Pollen and Spore Terminology

New Terms


There are two special versions of this page, both without headers, background etc. A full color one and one with black and white drawings. When printed according the instructions the B/W version will fit in the 1994 book.

In all drawings, the distal pole is on top, the proximal pole at the bottom, unless otherwise specified.
e = equatorial view, p = polar view; H = high level, L = low level.
The terms printed in bold are preferred.
The colors are according the scheme described in the introduction.
Click on a drawing for a full sized picture.

A-type tetrad (Moar, 1993)  
     A tetrad in which the aborted cells (1-3 in number) are clearly associated with the fertile grain(s). Example: Cyathodes juniperina (Epacridaceae).
See also: S-type tetrad, T-type tetrad.

Acanthomamilla (Balme, 1988)  
     A biform sculptural element consisting of a hemispheroidal base, surmounted by a sharply contracted spine. Examples: Acinosporites, Diblolisporites.

Acolpate (adj.) (Moar, 1993)  
     Without colpi.

Ancyrate (adj.) (Balme, 1988)  
     Bearing sub-cylindrical or tapering processes which divide at their distal extrimities into anchor-shaped or multifurcate tips.

Apiculate elements (Smith and Butterworth, 1967)  
     Projections from the general surface. Examples: bacula, pila, verrucae, spines.

Bireticulate (adj.) (Bor, 1979)
     A two layered reticulum consisting of a suprareticulum supported by a microreticulate tectum. Examples: Entelea arborescens (Tiliaceae), Phyllanthus oppositifolius (Euphorbiaceae), Salvia azurea (Lamiaceae).

Colpororate (adj.) (Moar, 1993)
     A compound aperture characterised by an ectoaperture, a shorter lolongate mesoaperture and a lalongate endoaperture. Example: Sonchus (Compositae).

Conjunctate (adj.) (Skvarla and Larson, 1965)
     With bacula or columellae branched proximally into two or more parts.

Cryptopolar (Gupta and Udar, 1986)
     Describing a spore in which the distal and proximal faces have dissimmilar sculpturing and lacks tetrad mark. Example: Calobryum dentatum, Haplomitrium hookeri.

Cupulate (adj.) (Gupta and Udar, 1986)
     Synonym of foveolate

Digitate (adj.) (Skvarla and Larson, 1965)
     With bacula or columellae branched distally into two or more parts. Example: Polygonum bistorta.

Dissections (Couper and Grebe, 1961)
     Rounded to elongated cavities in a cingulum or zona. Example: Vallatisporites ciliaris.
Synonym of vacuoles.

Disulcate (adj.) (Harley, 1998)
     Describing pollen grains with sulci arranged in pairs. Two types of disulcate pollen are distinguished: equatorial disulcate, with opposing, eaquatorially arranged sulci and distal disulcate with paired sulci lying parallel to the long axis of the pollen grain on the distal face. Examples: Metroxylon salomonense (Palmae) (equatorial disulcate), Chamaerops humilis (Palmae) (distal disulcate).
See also: dicolpate, dicolporate, diporate, geminicolpate.

Exine 1 (Erdtman, 1969)
     Synonym of ectexine.

Exine 2 (Erdtman, 1969)
     Synonym of endexine.

Impression mark (Harley, 1996)
     A mark on the proximal face of a pollen grain retained from the post-meiotic stage. This mark can be linear from tetragonal tetrads or Y-shaped from tetrahedral tetrads. Examples: Nypa fruticans, Howea belmooreana (Palmae).

Inner tetrad mark (Gupta and Udar, 1986)
     A tetrad mark at the inner layer of a spore and which does not reach up to the margin when seen in polar view and always smaller than the outer tetrad mark.

Metareticulum (adj. microreticulate) (Borsch and Bathlott, 1998)
     A reticulum wich is characterized by the consistent presence of one porate aperture in each lumen. Examples: Froelichia floridana (Amaranthaceae), Viviania rosea (Vivianiaceae), Kallstroemia maxima (Zygophyllaceae).

Murornate sculpture elements (Smith and Butterworth, 1967)  
     Elevations of the general surface. Examples: cristae, muri.

Nudate (adj.) (Punt et al., 1976)  
     Synonym of psilate.

Ornate (adj.) (Erdtman, 1953)
     Describing a reticulate ornamentation consisting of broad, curved muri and lumina that are often anastomosing. Example: Ceiba aesculifolia (Bombacaceae).

Paracavate (adj.) (Balme, 1988)  
     An exine in which the intexine is clearly defined but in which its degree of seperation from the exoexine is uncertain or indeterminate. Example: Ancyrospora langii.

Paraisopolar (Praglowski et al., 1983)
     Describing a pollen grain whose polar faces differ only in the attachment of viscin threads to the proximal pole.
Synonym of subisopolar.
Comment: Most pollen grains with viscin threads have polar faces of which one is less/more convex than the other.

Polar distance (Punt, 1984)
     The vertical distance from the equator to the pole (pd).

Polumbra (Balme, 1988)
     A darkened triangular or subcircular area centred on the proximal pole. Example: Retusotriletes distinctus. Comment: The feature appears to be most commonly observed in specimens that have lost a perisporal outer exoexinal layer.
See also: hilum.

Polyporate (adj.) (Moar, 1993)
     With many pores.
Synonym of pantoporate.

Protosaccus (pl. protosacci, adj. protosaccate) (Scheuring, 1974)
     A saccus which is completely filled with an alveolar structure. Example: Luekisporites virkkiae.
Synonym of quasisaccus and saccoid.
Comment: This feature is used in the description of pollen in the Perm - Trias. For extant saccate pollen grains don't show this character it is considered to be primitive.
See also: bisaccate, monosaccate, pseudosaccus, saccus.

Proximocavate (adj.) (Balme, 1988)
     An exine in which the exoexine is detached, or partly detached, from the intexine only on the proximal face.

Quasisaccus (pl. quasisacci, adj. quasisaccate) (Meyen, 1988)
     Synonym of protosaccus.

Quasitectate (adj.) (Balme, 1988)  
     A spore exine in which the outer and inner, more or less homogeneous, layers aer seperated by a clearly defined mesexinous layer of discontinous columellate elements, simulating those that characterise many angiosperm pollen.

Reticuloid (adj.) (Moar, 1993)
     With bacula arranged in a more or less reticulate pattern.
Synonym of retipilate.

S-type tetrad (Moar, 1993)  
     A tetrad in which only one members is fully developed. Example: Leucopogon fasciculatus (Epacridaceae).
See also: A-type tetrad, T-type tetrad.

Saccoid (Brugman, 1983)
     A saccus-like expansion of the exine with a complex infrastructure build up by a three dimensional network of sexine elements, extending to and fused with the nexine.
Synonym of protosaccus.
See also: camera, pseudosaccus, saccus.

Sculpural density (Balme, 1988)  
     The estimated number of sculptural elements in an area of 100 µm2 of the surface of the exine.

Sexine 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (Reitsma, 1970)
     A system of sexine stratification in which sexine 1 is the innermost and sexine 5 in the outermost layer of the sexine.
Comment: Usually the sexine consists of 3 layers (sexine 1 = columellae; sexine 2 = tectum; sexine 3 = sclupture elements).

Synrugoidate (adj.) (Wodehouse, 1935; Jalan and Kapil, 1964)
     Describing a pollen grain with six colpi of which three are long and meeting at one pole and three are short and not meeting at either pole. Example: Schisandra grandiflora (Schisandraceae).

T-type tetrad (Moar, 1993)  
     A tetrad in which all four members are fully developed. Example: Pentachondra pumila (Epacridaceae).
See also: A-type tetrad, S-type tetrad.

Tuberculate (adj.) (Moar, 1993)  
     Covered with knobbly projections.

Turriform (Balme, 1988)  
     Biform sculptural elements consisting of a capitate basal portion surmounted by a sharply contracted distal spine. Example: Dibolisporites.

Urceolate (adj.) (Ferguson et al., 1983)
     Describing a type of ornamentation consisting of urn-shaped elements situated on the footlayer. Example: Pinanga aristata (Palmae).

Vacuoles (Grebe, 1971)
     Rounded to elongated spaces within an equatorial faeture. Example: Vallatisporites ciliares.
Synonym of dissections.
Comment: In botanical sence, vacuole is a general term for a with liquid filled cellular component (Jackson, 1928). In latin it means a hollow space, and in this sence this term is used.


Updated 16 April 1999
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Introduction New terms Part 1 (A-C) Part 2 (D-H) Part 3 (I-O) Part 4 (P-R) Part 5 (S-Z) Literature

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