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Pollen is a bee-product known for its medical

properties from ancient times. In our days is
increasingly used as health food supplement and
especially as a tonic primarily with appeal to the
elderly to ameliorate the effects of ageing. In order to
evaluate the chemical composition and the biological
activity of Greek pollen which has never been studied
before, one sample with identified botanical origin from
sixteen different common plant taxa of Greece has been
evaluated. (Graikou and et al, 2011)

Three different extracts of the studied sample of

Greek pollen, have been tested, in whether could induce
proteasome activities in human fibroblasts. The water
extract was found to induce a highly proteasome activity,
showing interesting antioxidant properties. Due to this
activity the aqueous extract was further subjected to
chemical analysis and seven flavonoids have been isolated
and identified by modern spectral means. From the
methanolic extract, sugars, lipid acids, phenolic acids
and their esters have been also identified, which mainly
participate to the biosynthetic pathway of pollen
phenolics. The total phenolics were estimated with the
Folin-Ciocalteau reagent and the total antioxidant
activity was determined by the DPPH method while the
extracts and the isolated compounds were also tested for

their antimicrobial activity by the dilution technique.
(Graikou and et al, 2011)

The Greek pollen is rich in flavonoids and phenolic

acids which indicate the observed free radical scavenging
activity, the effects of pollen on human fibroblasts and
the interesting antimicrobial profile. (Graikou and et
al, 2011)


Plants characteriscally undergo a cyclic alternation

of generations in which a spore-producing generation,
called sporophyte, is followed by a gamete-producing
generation, called gametophyte. In evolutionarily higher
plants the gamete-producing generation has been
progressively reduced in size and in duration of its
existence; in seed plant the male gametophyte has been
diminished to the tiny pollen grain.

Pollen grains are produced on highly modified

leaves called microsporophyll. In cone bearing plants,
such as pine trees, the microsporophyll is a scale of a
male cone. In the flowering plants, the micosporophyll is
in the stamen of the flower. A stamen consists of a
pollen-producing section, called anther, a stalk. As the
anther matures, four groups of specialized cells develop
within it; these specialized cells are called microspore
mother cells. Each of the four groups of the microspore
is surrounded by nutritive tissue and supporting cells
and is collectively referred to as an anther sac, a
pollen sac, or a microsporangium. Each microspore mother
cell divides to form four microspores, which is why the
flower bearing plant is called the sporophyte. While
still in the anther sac and shortly before being
released, each microspore begins to germinate; that is,
its nucleus divides into two nuclei, the generative

nucleus and the tube nucleus. The two-nuclei structure is
the pollen grain, or male gametophyte. The pollen grains
generative nucleus will later divide into male sex cells,
or gametes, which is why the pollen grain is called
gametophyte. The two sex cells are known as sperm nuclei
and correspond to the sperm of animals.

Pollens may be produced in relative small amounts,

as few as several dozen grains per anther sac, or in the
tremendous numbers, as in the wind-pollinated coniferos
trees, where single cone may produce millions of grains.
Pollens contain proteins and sugars and serve as
attractant to insects and other animals, which aid

The study, Chemical analysis of Greek pollen -

Antioxidant, antimicrobial and proteasome activation
properties were studied by Konstantia Graikou, Suzanne
Kapeta, Nektarios Aligiannis, George Sotiroudis, Niki
Chondrogianni, Efstathios Gonos and Ioanna Chinou, were
all them came from Greece.

Since the study has many researchers, they had given

different contribution in the study. Konstantia Graikou
carried out the chemical analysis-structure elucidation
and drafted the manuscript; Suzanne Kapeta carried out
the measurement of proteasome activation; Nektarios
Aligiannis assisted to the chemical structure
determination; George Sotiroudis carried out the
determination of total phenolics and the measurement of
radical scavenging activity; Niki Chondrogianni

participated in the proteasome activation study;
Efstathios Gonos participated in the design of the
proteasome activation study; and Ioanna Chinou conceived
of the study and its design and coordination of the
scientific teams, carried out the antimicrobial tests and
assisted to draft the manuscript. (Graikou and et al,

The study evaluated the Greek pollen through

chemical analysis. These chemical analyses are
antioxidant, antimicrobial and proteasome activation


The study, Chemical analysis of Greek pollen -

Antioxidant, antimicrobial and proteasome activation
properties, was an interesting study since the focus of
the research, which is the Greek pollen, was never been
studied and the researchers really got a real challenge
of doing the research. It was a good break-through in the
field of science when they did this study. To their
knowledge, this was the first report on the chemical
analysis and biological activities of Greek pollen.

They chose the Greek pollen since this kind of

pollen was never studied. Pollens were observed being
used for its medical properties. It was known that pollen
is the principal source of protein, fat, minerals, and
vitamins, the food elements essential for the growth and
development of larvae of the bees.

It was observed in the research that the

studied pollen material have been shown to contain the
flavonoid content of kaempferol 3-O-rhamnoside (1),
quercetin 3-O-glucoside (2), quercetin 3-O-galactoside
(3), quercetin 3-O-rhamnoside (4), isorhamnetin 3-O-
xylosyl(1-6)glucoside (5), 7-Omethylherbacetin 3-O-
sophoroside (6), and 7-O-methylherbacetin 3-O-glucosyl-8-
O-galactoside (7).(Graikou and et al, 2011). It was noted
that all isolated flavonoids are flavonols 3-glycosides

which the researchers find this in accordance to the
previous studies in pollens. It has been proposed that
such compounds have shown to act as essential stimulants
of pollen tube growth in several flowering plants and as
such appear to play a vital role in the plant
fertilization process.

The researchers also observed in the microscopical

analysis that the studied sample contained the following
16 different common taxa of the Greek Flora: Papaver
rhoeas, Chamomila recutita, Sinapis arvensis, Cistus sp.,
Trifolium sp., Dorycnium sp., Cichorium sp., Convolvulus
sp., Circium sp., Malva sylvestris, Fumaria sp.,
Eucalyptus camaldulensis, Anemone sp., Ononis sp.,
Asphodelus sp. and Quercus ilex. But even though the
studied Greek pollen has this complicated mixture of
pellets from a common spring flowering plants, there were
no additional relationship between the floral origin and
the structure of the observed can be given by the

In the protease activation properties, the

researchers observed that the Greek pollen has the
capability to activate the proteasome. A proteasome is a
cluster of proteins found in the cytoplasm of living
cells that degrades damaged or redundant proteins. When
this is activated, it has a great help for destroying
toxic proteins and reduce the proteins that are not
needed in our body.

The extracts of the studied Greek pollen as well as
the isolated flavonoids were evaluated for their
antimicrobial activity against Gram-negative and
-positive bacterial strains and human-pathogenic fungi.
It was detected that the extracts has an interesting
antimicrobial profile especially against Gram positive
strains. This can be helpful in the medical field. This
is a good discovery since the Greek pollen was studied
for the first time.

There were many beneficial effects of Greek pollen.

It was now successfully introduced as food supplement
that can be taken with normal diet which could improve
the effects of ageing and well-being. But in ageing
effect, it has to be given careful consideration in the
future through further scientific research.


Pollen is a powdery substance produced by flowering

plants that contains male reproductive cells. The study
showed that Greek pollen is very rich in flavonoids and
phenolic acids. This was proven by the outcome of the
research that was presented by the researchers.

The interesting part of the study is that the

researchers discovered something that is first in the
research world. The chemical analysis for the Greek
pollen is success since it has provides new insights
towards enhancement of cellular antioxidant mechanisms by
natural products as bee-pollen. It is also exciting to
know that a kind of bee pollen has antimicrobial
properties against some gram-positive bacteria.

Pollens were also used by the ancient people to cure

some illness. Today, pollens were increasingly used as a
health food supplement and are currently marketed in
Europe and Asia as a tonic which is very popular with the
elderly because of its effects of ageing.

REFERENCES Date retrieved: 6

January 2013.

Dickson, Leal G. "Pollination." Microsoft Student 2009

[DVD]. Redmond, WA: Microsoft Corporation, 2008