Palynology Interview Questions & Answers

  1. Question 1. Tell Me What Is Pollen Analysis Used For?

    Answer :

    Pollen analysis, or Palynology, is a type of environmental archaeology in which microscopes are used to analyse the range of plant pollens present in archaeological layers: these can tell us what crops, vegetation or ground cover were likely to have been present when a layer was deposited.

  2. Question 2. What Is Acritarch?

    Answer :

    Acritarchs are organic microfossils, present from approximately 1,400 to 3,200 million years ago to the present. Their diversity reflects major ecological events such as the appearance of predation and the Cambrian explosion.

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  4. Question 3. Do You Know What Is Acetolysis?

    Answer :

    Acetolysis is the best technique for recovering pollen because any tissue is dissolved and lipids and debris are removed from the sample and the pollen grains.

  5. Question 4. What Is Archaeological Palynology?

    Answer :

    Archaeological palynology studies polymorphs at archaeological sites to determine aspects of a life and ecology such as diet, ritual practice, climate, agriculture, and the impact that humans may have had on the environment. Palynomorphs studied may be fossil remains of non-extant life (paleopalynology) or remains of extant life forms (actual palynology)

  6. Question 5. Tell Me What Is Forensic Palynology?

    Answer :

    Forensic palynology is the study of pollen and powdered minerals, their identification, and where and when they occur, to ascertain that a body or other object was in a certain place at a certain time.

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  8. Question 6. What Is Scolecodont?

    Answer :

    A scolecodont is the jaw of a polychaete annelid, a common type of fossil-producing segmented worm useful in invertebrate paleontology. Scolecodonts are common and diverse microfossils, which range from the Cambrian period to the present. They diversified profusely in the Ordovician, and are most common in the Ordovician, Silurian and Devonian marine deposits of the Paleozoic era.

  9. Question 7. What Is Forensic Palynology?

    Answer :

    Forensic palynology, the science of legal evidence derived from the study of pollen and spores.

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  11. Question 8. What Is Orbicule?

    Answer :

    Orbicules are small acellular structures of sporopollenin that might occur on the inner tangential and radial walls of tapetal cells. Their function is unclear at this moment. Current consensus is that they are just a by-product of pollen wall sporopollenin synthesis.

  12. Question 9. What Is Sediment?

    Answer :

    Sediment is a naturally occurring material that is broken down by processes of weathering and erosion, and is subsequently transported by the action of wind, water, or ice, and/or by the force of gravity acting on the particles. For example, sand and silt can be carried in suspension in river water and on reaching the sea be deposited by sedimentation and if buried this may eventually become sandstone and siltstone, ( sedimentary rocks).

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  14. Question 10. What Is Dinocyst?

    Answer :

    Dinocysts or dinoflagellate cysts are typically 15 to 100 µm in diameter and produced by around 15-20% of living dinoflagellates as a dormant, zygotic stage of their lifecycle, which can accumulate in the sediments as microfossils. Organic-walled dinocysts are often resistant and made out of dinosporin. There are also calcareous dinoflagellate cysts and siliceous dinoflagellate cysts. Many books provide overviews on dinocysts.

  15. Question 11. What Is Sporopollenin?

    Answer :

    Sporopollenin is one of the most chemically inert biological polymers. It is a major component of the tough outer (exine) walls of plant spores and pollen grains. It is chemically very stable and is usually well preserved in soils and sediments. The exine layer is often intricately sculptured in species-specific patterns, allowing material recovered from lake sediments to provide useful information to palynologists about plant and fungal populations in the past. Sporopollenin has found uses in the field of paleoclimatology as well. Sporopollenin is also found in the cell walls of several taxa of green alga, including Phycopeltis and Chlorella.

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  17. Question 12. What Is Stratigraphic Palynology?

    Answer :

    Stratigraphic palynology is the study of palynomorphs (identification, distribution, and abundance) so as to establish sedimentary sequences or to provide chronological references for sedimentary sequences.

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  19. Question 13. What Is Pollen Tube?

    Answer :

    A pollen tube is part of the male gametophyte of seed plants. It acts as a conduit to transport the male gamete cells from the pollen grain, either from the stigma to the ovules at the base of the pistil, or directly through ovule tissue in some gymnosperms. In maize, this single cell can grow longer than 12 inches to traverse the length of the pistil.

  20. Question 14. What Is Fossil Fuel?

    Answer :

    Fossil fuels are fuels formed by natural processes such as anaerobic decomposition of buried dead organisms, containing energy originating in ancient photosynthesis. The age of the organisms and their resulting fossil fuels is typically millions of years, and sometimes exceeds 650 million years. Fossil fuels contain high percentages of carbon and include petroleum, coal, and natural gas. Other commonly used derivatives include kerosene and propane. Fossil fuels range from volatile materials with low carbon:hydrogen ratios like methane, to liquids like petroleum, to nonvolatile materials composed of almost pure carbon, like anthracite coal. Methane can be found in hydrocarbon fields either alone, associated with oil, or in the form of methane clathrates.

  21. Question 15. What Are Microfossils?

    Answer :

    Microfossils are fossils generally not larger than four millimeters, and commonly smaller than one millimeter, the study of which requires the use of light or electron microscopy. Fossils which can be studied with the naked eye or low-powered magnification, such as a hand lens, are referred to as macrofossils. Obviously, it can be hard to decide whether or not some organisms should be considered microfossils, as there is no fixed size boundary.

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  23. Question 16. What Is Gamete?

    Answer :

    A gamete is a haploid cell that fuses with another haploid cell during fertilization in organisms that sexually reproduce. In species that produce two morphologically distinct types of gametes, and in which each individual produces only one type, a female is any individual that produces the larger type of gamete-called an ovum (or egg)-and a male produces the smaller tadpole-like type-called a sperm. This is an example of anisogamy or heterogamy, the condition in which females and males produce gametes of different sizes (this is the case in humans; the human ovum has approximately 100,000 times the volume of a single human sperm cell. In contrast, isogamy is the state of gametes from both sexes being the same size and shape, and given arbitrary designators for mating type. The name gamete was introduced by the Austrian biologist Gregor Mendel. Gametes carry half the genetic information of an individual, one ploidy of each type, and are created through meiosis.

  24. Question 17. What Is Forensic Entomology?

    Answer :

    Forensic entomology is the scientific study of the invasion the succession pattern of arthropods with their developmental stages of different species found on the decomposed cadavers during legal investigations. It is the application and study of insect and other arthropod biology to criminal matters. It also involves the application of the study of arthropods, including insects, arachnids, centipedes, millipedes, and crustaceans to criminal or legal cases. It is primarily associated with death investigations; however, it may also be used to detect drugs and poisons, determine the location of an incident, and find the presence and time of the infliction of wounds. Forensic entomology can be divided into three subfields: urban, stored-product and medico-legal/medico-criminal entomology.

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  26. Question 18. What Is Ordovician?

    Answer :

    The Ordovician is a geologic period and system, the second of six periods of the Paleozoic Era. The Ordovician spans 41.2 million years from the end of the Cambrian Period 485.4 million years ago (Mya) to the start of the Silurian Period 443.8 Mya. The Ordovician, named after the Celtic tribe of the Ordovices, was defined by Charles Lapworth in 1879 to resolve a dispute between followers of Adam Sedgwick and Roderick Murchison, who were placing the same rock beds in northern Wales into the Cambrian and Silurian periods, respectively. Lapworth, recognized that the fossil fauna in the disputed strata were different from those of either the Cambrian or the Silurian periods, and placed them in a period of their own. It received international sanction in 1960, when it was adopted as an official period of the Paleozoic Era by the International Geological Congress.

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  28. Question 19. What Is Gynoecium?

    Answer :

    Gynoecium is most commonly used as a collective term for the parts of a flower that produce ovules and ultimately develop into the fruit and seeds. The gynoecium is the innermost whorl of pistils in a flower and is typically surrounded by the pollen-producing reproductive organs, the stamens, collectively called the androecium. The gynoecium is often referred to as the “female” portion of the flower, although rather than directly producing female gametes, the gynoecium produces megaspores, each of which develops into a female gametophyte which then produces egg cells.

  29. Question 20. What Is Gametophyte?

    Answer :

    A gametophyte is a stage in the life cycle of plants and algae that undergo alternation of generations. It is a haploid multicellular organism that develops from a haploid spore that has one set of chromosomes. The gametophyte is the sexual phase in the life cycle of plants and algae. It develops sex organs that produce gametes, haploid sex cells that participate in fertilization to form a diploid zygote in which each cell has two sets of chromosomes. Cell division of the zygote results in a new diploid multicellular organism, the second stage in the life cycle kno29. 

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  31. Question 21. What Is Melissopalynology?

    Answer :

    Melissopalynology is the study of pollen in honey and other materials derived from bees.

  32. Question 22. What Is Spermatophyte?

    Answer :

    The spermatophytes, also known as phanerogams comprise those plants that produce seeds, hence the alternative name seed plants. They are a subset of the embryophytes or land plants. The term phanerogams or phanerogamae is derived from the Greek, phanerós meaning “visible”, in contrast to the cryptogamae from Greek kryptós = “hidden” together with the suffix, gameein, “to marry”. These terms distinguished those plants with hidden sexual organs (cryptogamae) from those with visible sexual organs (phanerogamae).

  33. Question 23. What Is Diatom?

    Answer :

    Diatoms are a major group of algae, and are among the most common types of phytoplankton. Diatoms are unicellular, although they can form colonies in the shape of filaments or ribbons (e.g. Fragilaria), fans (e.g. Meridion), zigzags (e.g. Tabellaria), or stars (e.g. Asterionella). The first diatom formally described in scientific literature, the colonial Bacillaria paradoxa, was found in 1783 by Danish naturalist Otto Friedrich Müller. Diatoms are producers within the food chain. A unique feature of diatom cells is that they are enclosed within a cell wall made of silica (hydrated silicon dioxide) called a frustule. These frustules show a wide diversity in form, but are usually almost bilaterally symmetrical, hence the group name. The symmetry is not perfect since one of the valves is slightly larger than the other, allowing one valve to fit inside the edge of the other. Fossil evidence suggests that they originated during, or before, the early Jurassic period. Only male gametes of centric diatoms are capable of movement by means of flagella. Diatom communities are a popular tool for monitoring environmental conditions, past and present, and are commonly used in studies of water quality.

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  35. Question 24. What Is Devonian?

    Answer :

    The Devonian is a geologic period and system of the Paleozoic, spanning 60 million years from the end of the Silurian, 419.2 million years ago (Mya), to the beginning of the Carboniferous, 358.9 Mya. It is named after Devon, England, where rocks from this period were first studied. The first significant adaptive radiation of life on dry land occurred during the Devonian. Free-sporing vascular plants began to spread across dry land, forming extensive forests which covered the continents. By the middle of the Devonian, several groups of plants had evolved leaves and true roots, and by the end of the period the first seed-bearing plants appeared. Various terrestrial arthropods also became well-established. Fish reached substantial diversity during this time, leading the Devonian to often be dubbed the “Age of Fish”. The first ray-finned and lobe-finned bony fish appeared, while the placodermi began dominating almost every known aquatic environment.

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  37. Question 25. What Is Pollen?

    Answer :

    Pollen is a fine to coarse powdery substance comprising pollen grains which are male microgametophytes of seed plants, which produce male gametes (sperm cells). Pollen grains have a hard coat made of sporopollenin that protects the gametophytes during the process of their movement from the stamens to the pistil of flowering plants or from the male cone to the female cone of coniferous plants. If pollen lands on a compatible pistil or female cone, it germinates, producing a pollen tube that transfers the sperm to the ovule containing the female gametophyte. Individual pollen grains are small enough to require magnification to see detail. The study of pollen is called palynology and is highly useful in paleoecology, paleontology, archaeology, and forensics.

  38. Question 26. Who Is Palynologist?

    Answer :

    Palynologist Or Palynology is the study of plant pollen, spores and certain microscopic plankton organisms (collectively termed palynomorphs) in both living and fossil form.

  39. Question 27. What Is Hypericum?

    Answer :

    Hypericum is a genus of flowering plants in the family Hypericaceae (formerly often considered a subfamily of Clusiaceae). Hypericum is unusual for a genus of its size because a worldwide taxonomic monograph was produced for it.

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  41. Question 28. What Is Palynomorphs?

    Answer :

    Palynomorphs are broadly defined as organic-walled microfossils between 5 and 500 micrometres in size. They are extracted from sedimentary rocks and sediment cores both physically, by ultrasonic treatment and wet sieving, and chemically, by chemical digestion to remove the non-organic fraction. Palynomorphs may be composed of organic material such as chitin, pseudochitin and sporopollenin. Palynomorphs that have a taxonomy description are sometimes referred to as palynotaxa.

  42. Question 29. What Is Foraminifera?

    Answer :

    Foraminifera are members of a phylum or class of amoeboid protists characterized by streaming granular ectoplasm that among other things is used for catching food, and commonly by an external shell or “test” made of various materials and constructed in diverse forms. All but perhaps a very few are aquatic and most are marine, the majority of which live on or within the seafloor sediment while a smaller variety are floaters in the water column at various depths. A few are known from freshwater or brackish conditions and some soil species have been identified through molecular analysis of small subunit ribosomal DNA.

  43. Question 30. What Is Pollination Ecology?

    Answer :

    Pollination ecology studies the distribution of pollen (wind-born or transported by animals) and the efficiency of pollen fertilisation.

  44. Question 31. What Is Environmental Palynology?

    Answer :

    Environmental palynology is the study of palynomorphs (identification, distribution, and abundance) concerned with determining past changes in the biota, climate, or geology (specifically surface geology). Subdivisions include quaternary palynology and archaeological palynology.

  45. Question 32. What Is Palypaleonology?

    Answer :

    Palypaleonology includes the fields of stratigraphic palynology, archaeological palynology, and environmental palynology. Palynomorphs studied are specifically fossil remains of non-extant life forms.

  46. Question 33. What Is Pinophyta?

    Answer :

    The Pinophyta, also known as Coniferophyta or Coniferae, or commonly as conifers, are a division of vascular land plants containing a single class, Pinopsida. They are gymnosperms, cone-bearing seed plants. All extant conifers are perennial woody plants with secondary growth. The great majority are trees, though a few are shrubs. Examples include cedars, Douglas firs, cypresses, firs, junipers, kauri, larches, pines, hemlocks, redwoods, spruces, and yews. As of 1998, the division Pinophyta was estimated to contain eight families, 68 genera, and 629 living species.

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  48. Question 34. What Is Stamen?

    Answer :

    The stamen is the pollen-producing reproductive organ of a flower. Collectively the stamens from the androecium.

  49. Question 35. What Is Kerogen?

    Answer :

    Kerogen is a mixture of organic chemical compounds that make up a portion of the organic matter in sedimentary rocks. It is insoluble in normal organic solvents because of the high molecular weight (upwards of 1,000 daltons or 1000 Da; 1Da= 1 atomic mass unit) of its component compounds. The soluble portion is known as bitumen. When heated to the right temperatures in the Earth’s crust, some types of kerogen release crude oil or natural gas, collectively known as hydrocarbons (fossil fuels). When such kerogens are present in high concentration in rocks such as shale, they form possible source rocks. Shales rich in kerogens that have not been heated to a warmer temperature to release their hydrocarbons may form oil shale deposits.

  50. Question 36. What Is Chitinozoan?

    Answer :

    Chitinozoa are a taxon of flask-shaped, organic walled marine microfossils produced by an as yet unknown animal. Common from the Ordovician to Devonian periods, the millimetre-scale organisms are abundant in almost all types of marine sediment across the globe. This wide distribution, and their rapid pace of evolution, makes them valuable biostratigraphic markers.

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  52. Question 37. What Is Spore?

    Answer :

    In biology, a spore is a unit of sexual or asexual reproduction that may be adapted for dispersal and for survival, often for extended periods of time, in unfavorable conditions. Spores form part of the life cycles of many plants, algae, fungi and protozoa. Bacterial spores are not part of a sexual cycle but are resistant structures used for survival under unfavourable conditions. Myxozoan spores release amoeba into their hosts for parasitic infection, but also reproduce within the hosts through the pairing of two nuclei within the plasmodium, which develops from the amoeba.

  53. Question 38. What Is Monograph?

    Answer :

    A monograph is a specialist work of writing (in contrast to reference works) on a single subject or an aspect of a subject, usually by a single author.

  54. Question 39. Tell Me What Is A Palynomorphs?

    Answer :

    Palynology is the “study of dust” or “particles that are strewn”. A classic palynologist analyses particulate samples collected from the air, from water, or from deposits including sediments of any age.