Nectar is considered a primary alimentary reward for a large variety of pollinators. Recent studies demonstrated that nectar may have other functions in addition to attracting pollinators. Mainly other two functions have been recognized: defence against microbial invasion and post-secretion modification of sugar profile. The floral nectar of Cucurbita pepo L. has been analyzed to confirm the presence of defence proteins, namely xylosidases that were identified by means of a proteomic approach in a previous study. An enzyme assay was also performed that revealed low invertase activity for which the optimal pH was determined. This invertase activity is not able to modify the sugar profile significantly during the short period of anthesis (6 hours). The amino acids complement in of the nectar of both sexes was also determined. Sixteen of the 20 protein amino acids have been detected. Proline is compraising more than 30% of total amino acid content in male and female flowers. Three non- protein amino acids (taurine, β-alanine, GABA) represent almost one third of the total amino acid content, and of these, GABA is the most abundant (16%). Several biological activities were attributed to these amino acids and further studies are needed to assess their presumed involvement in managing the foraging behaviour of insects. More recent studies, including our own, demonstrate that the various functions of nectar are much more complex than previously thought.

Nepi, M., Soligo, C., Nocentini, D., Abate, M., Guarnieri, M., Cai, G., et al. (2012). Amino acids and protein profile in floral nectar: much more than a simple reward. FLORA, 207, 475-481 [10.1016/j.flora.2012.06.002].

Amino acids and protein profile in floral nectar: much more than a simple reward

NEPI, MASSIMO;NOCENTINI, DANIELE;GUARNIERI, MASSIMO;CAI, GIAMPIERO;BINI, LUCA;BIANCHI, LAURA;PACINI, ETTORE
2012

Abstract

Nectar is considered a primary alimentary reward for a large variety of pollinators. Recent studies demonstrated that nectar may have other functions in addition to attracting pollinators. Mainly other two functions have been recognized: defence against microbial invasion and post-secretion modification of sugar profile. The floral nectar of Cucurbita pepo L. has been analyzed to confirm the presence of defence proteins, namely xylosidases that were identified by means of a proteomic approach in a previous study. An enzyme assay was also performed that revealed low invertase activity for which the optimal pH was determined. This invertase activity is not able to modify the sugar profile significantly during the short period of anthesis (6 hours). The amino acids complement in of the nectar of both sexes was also determined. Sixteen of the 20 protein amino acids have been detected. Proline is compraising more than 30% of total amino acid content in male and female flowers. Three non- protein amino acids (taurine, β-alanine, GABA) represent almost one third of the total amino acid content, and of these, GABA is the most abundant (16%). Several biological activities were attributed to these amino acids and further studies are needed to assess their presumed involvement in managing the foraging behaviour of insects. More recent studies, including our own, demonstrate that the various functions of nectar are much more complex than previously thought.
Nepi, M., Soligo, C., Nocentini, D., Abate, M., Guarnieri, M., Cai, G., et al. (2012). Amino acids and protein profile in floral nectar: much more than a simple reward. FLORA, 207, 475-481 [10.1016/j.flora.2012.06.002].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11365/26484
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