Journal Article

Diversity of floral nectary secretions and structure, and implications for their evolution in Anacardiaceae

Elisabeth D Tölke, Julien B Bachelier, Elimar A Lima, Leonardo Galetto, Diego Demarco and Sandra M Carmello-Guerreiro

in Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society

Published on behalf of The Linnean Society of London

Volume 187, issue 2, pages 209-231
Published in print May 2018 | ISSN: 0024-4074
Published online April 2018 | e-ISSN: 1095-8339 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/botlinnean/boy016
Diversity of floral nectary secretions and structure, and implications for their evolution in Anacardiaceae

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  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Natural History
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry
  • Plant Evolution

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Abstract

The flowers of most Anacardiaceae have a floral nectary disk producing nectar rich in sugars. However, a recent study demonstrated that their nectaries might also produce other substances, including lipids and phenolic compounds. To explore the diversity of floral nectary production and (ultra)structure, and their potential for the systematics of Anacardiaceae, we studied seven genera and 13 species from the two subfamilies. We used spectrophotometry to identify sugars and histochemical tests for other substances, and electron and brightfield microscopy to study nectary (ultra)structure and secretory pathways. The composition of sugars and other substances can vary between closely related species and be more similar in species from different subfamilies, being of limited value for the systematics of the family. The general morphology and structure of the floral nectary and their secretory pathways appear to be conservative in the family, and, like the production of mixed secretions, they might be plesiomorphic. Three morphological types of floral nectaries are defined for the family: nectariferous disk with papillose (1) or smooth epidermis-type (2) and trichomatous-type (3). The secretions may be released both by granulocrine and eccrine mechanisms and exuded through nectarostomata or the cuticle. Further studies are needed to better understand their evolutionary and ecological implications in Anacardiaceae and other sapindalean lineages.

Keywords: lipids; mixed secretion; nectar sugar composition; nectariferous disk; phenolic compounds; Sapindales; (ultra)structure

Journal Article.  9607 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology ; Natural History ; Plant Sciences and Forestry ; Plant Evolution

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