Abstract Detail

Characteristics of nectar, nectaries, and nectar spurs

Roy, Rahul [1], Carter, Clay [2].

Temporal and sex-dependent variation in nectar-elemental profiles of Cucurbita pepo.

Floral nectar is a carbohydrate rich reward produced by plants as a means to attract pollinators. Nectar is chemically complex with the presence of a range of metabolites such as sugars, proteins, lipids, amino acids and a variety of specialized metabolites. Nectar also contains a range of elemental ions. We utilized Cucurbita pepo (summer squash) nectar to answer questions about the temporal and sex dependent variation of elemental ion profiles in floral nectar. C. pepo is a great emerging model for nectar research owing to its large nectary size, copious nectar production and recent availability of nectary transcriptomic data across various developmental stages. Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometric analysis of squash nectar has revealed significant presence (up to mM levels) of ions such as P, K, Na, B, Li, Fe, Mg and Al. We analyzed nectar metal composition of male and female squash flowers as well as across time points to uncover sex-specific and temporal variations in nectar elemental profiles. We also analyzed gene expression in the nectaries of squash flowers using previously published nectary transcriptomic data. Among the genes displaying high expression during nectar production, a number of them are specialized membrane transporters involved in the transport of metal ions. This has led us to hypothesize their role in modulating the elemental profile of nectar for optimum pollinator visitation. We are testing the role of some of these transporters in nectar production in the model organism, Arabidopsis thaliana. The overarching goal of these studies is to understand how metal homeostasis is achieved in nectar and what molecular players mediate it.

1 - UMN, Twin Cities, 720 BioSci Bldg, 1445 Gortner Ave, Saint Paul, MN, 55108, United States
2 - UMN, Twin Cities, Plant & Microbial Biology, 726 BioSci Bldg, 1445 Gortner Ave, Saint Paul, MN, 55108, United States


Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Session: COL02, Characteristics of nectar, nectaries and nectar spurs
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2020
Time: 10:30 AM
Number: COL02003
Abstract ID:590
Candidate for Awards:None

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