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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ECOLOGICALLY-BASED MANAGEMENT OF BOLL WEEVILS AND POST-ERADICATION CROP PESTS Title: Pollen Recovery from Insects: Light Microscopy

Author
item Jones, Gretchen

Submitted to: Palynology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 5, 2011
Publication Date: June 1, 2012
Citation: Jones, G.D. 2012. Pollen Recovery from Insects: Light Microscopy. Palynology. 36:86-109.

Interpretive Summary: Numerous insect species feed on pollen, nectar and other plant exudates that are associated with flowers. As a result of this feeding activity, pollen becomes attached to the insects. Identification of pollen attached to these insects reveals what insects eat, where they disperse in and around cropping systems, and their role in pollination. However, finding pollen on or in an insect depends largely on the technique used to recover the pollen from the insect. Six different techniques are described here in detail that have been used to recover pollen from a variety of insects including pests such as boll weevils, Mexican corn rootworms, and corn earworms. These techniques can be used to recover pollen from internal insect tissues, external tissues, or both. Proper techniques enhance pollen recovery and representativeness of pollen types encountered by insects.

Technical Abstract: Numerous insect species feed on the pollen, nectar, and other plant exudates that are associated with flowers. As a result of this feeding activity, pollen becomes attached to the insects. Analysis of the pollen attached to these insects can reveal what insects eat, their dispersal patterns in and around cropping systems, and their role in pollination. However, finding pollen on and or in an insect depends on the technique used to recover pollen from the insect. Six different techniques are described in detail that have been used to recover pollen from a variety of insects including pests such as boll weevils, Mexican corn rootworms, and corn earworm moths. These techniques can be use to recover pollen from internal insect tissues (gut, alimentary canal, crop, etc.), external tissues (proboscis, legs, eyes, etc.) or both. By using the proper technique, better pollen recovery can be made and thus better data can be obtained.

Last Modified: 12/25/2014