Are flowers morphologically adapted to take advantage of electrostatic forces in pollination?

Yiftach Vaknin*, Samuel Gan-mor, Avital Bechar, Beni Ronen, Dan Eisikowitch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The relationship between floral morphology and electrostatic pollination was studied here. To test the effects of floral morphology on pollen deposition on the stigma and other floral parts by means of electrostatic forces, metal replicas of almond (Amygdalus communis) flowers were constructed and then dusted with electrostatically charged and uncharged almond pollen. The pollen was applied to the flowers with a specially designed electrostatic powder-coating device. Pollen deposition on the flower was found to be higher when the pollen was electrostatically charged than when it was not. Most of the charged pollen grains were deposited on the corolla extremities and on the stigma, whereas uncharged pollen grains were evenly distributed on the entire flower. Stigma exsertion was the most important morphological feature of the flower promoting pollen deposition on the stigma when electrostatic charge was used. Large flowers with corollas showed higher electrodeposition on the corolla than smaller, narrower ones. These results collectively imply that morphological features of a plant might be adaptations to take advantage of electrostatic forces. This provided us with a very important tool for future research on floral morphology and pollination biology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-306
Number of pages6
JournalNew Phytologist
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001


  • Artificial flowers
  • Electrodeposition
  • Electrostatic pollination
  • Floral morphology
  • Stigma exsertion


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