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Plant Signal Behav. 2010 Jul;5(7):924-6. Epub 2010 Jul 1.

Towards elucidating the differential regulation of floral and extrafloral nectar secretion.

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Department of Bioorganic Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Jena, Germany.


Nectar is a rich source of sugars that serves the attraction of pollinators (floral nectar) or predatory arthropods (extrafloral nectar). We just begin to understand the similarities and differences that underlie the secretory control of these two important types of plant secretions. Jasmonates are phytohormones, which are well documented to be involved in plant developmental processes and plant defence responses against herbivores, including the secretion of extrafloral nectar. Recently, jasmonates have also been implicated in the regulation of floral nectar secretion in Brassica napus. Due to a trade-off between reproduction and defence, however, plants need to functionally separate the regulation of these two secretory processes. In line with this prediction, externally applying jasmonates to leaves did indeed not affect floral nectar secretion. Here we compare the current knowledge on the regulation of floral and extrafloral nectar secretion to understand similarities and dissimilarities between these two secretory processes and highlight future research directions in this context.


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