Although we usually associate pollen with seasonal allergies, pollen is crucial for the reproduction of plants. Eric Hamilton describes the common characteristics that all pollen share as plants’ sperm: they need to survive the external environment, reach a female partner, and find their way to the ovary. During these processes, pollen’s physiology changes drastically as it needs to dehydrate, rehydrate, and grow. Using Arabidopsis as a model organism, Hamilton and his colleagues discovered a membrane protein named MLS8, which is crucial for pollen’s hydration and fertility processes. Hamilton describes how MSL8 acts as pollen’s pressure release valve, allowing pollen to survive drastic physical changes.
This talk is part of the Young Scientist Seminars, a video series produced that features young scientists giving talks about their research and discoveries.
Eric Hamilton completed his Bachelors degrees in Biology and Chemistry at Case Western Reserve University before joining the PhD program at Washington University in St. Louis in 2012. His interests in plant biology led him to join Dr. Elizabeth Haswell’s lab, where he has studied the mechanisms of plant pollination and pollen’s response to mechanical… Continue Reading