Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2023-2705
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2023-2705
02 Jan 2024
 | 02 Jan 2024

High interspecific variability indicates pollen ice nucleators are incidental

Nina L. H. Kinney, Charles A. Hepburn, Matthew I. Gibson, Daniel Ballesteros, and Thomas F. Whale

Abstract. Ice nucleating molecules (INMs) produced by plant pollen can nucleate ice at warm temperatures and may play an important role in weather and climate relevant cloud glaciation. INMs have also proved useful for mammalian cell and tissue model cryopreservation. The high ice nucleation (IN) activity of some INMs indicates an underlying biological function, either freezing tolerance or bioprecipitation mediated dispersal. Here, using the largest study of pollen ice nucleation to date, we show that phylogenetic proximity, spermatophyte subdivision, primary growth biome, pollination season, primary pollination method, desiccation tolerance and native growth elevation do not account for the IN activity of INMs released from different plant species’ pollen. The results suggest that a polysaccharide present in pollen is produced by plants for a purpose unrelated to ice nucleation has an incidental ability to nucleate ice. This ability may have been adapted by some species for specific biological purposes, producing exceptional ice nucleators. Pollen INMs may be more active, widespread in nature, and diverse than previously thought.

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Nina L. H. Kinney, Charles A. Hepburn, Matthew I. Gibson, Daniel Ballesteros, and Thomas F. Whale

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2705', Cindy Morris, 30 Jan 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2705', Hinrich Grothe, 09 Feb 2024

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2705', Cindy Morris, 30 Jan 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2705', Hinrich Grothe, 09 Feb 2024
Nina L. H. Kinney, Charles A. Hepburn, Matthew I. Gibson, Daniel Ballesteros, and Thomas F. Whale
Nina L. H. Kinney, Charles A. Hepburn, Matthew I. Gibson, Daniel Ballesteros, and Thomas F. Whale

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Latest update: 20 May 2024
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Short summary
Molecules released from plant pollen induce the formation of ice from supercooled water at temperatures warm enough to suggest an underlying function for this activity. In this study we show that ice nucleators are ubiquitous in pollen. We suggest the molecules responsible fulfil some unrelated biological function and nucleate ice incidentally. The ubiquity of ice nucleating molecules in pollen and particularly active examples reveal a greater potential for pollen to impact weather and climate.