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Front Plant Sci. 2016 Jun 14;7:826. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2016.00826. eCollection 2016.

Floral Nectary Morphology and Proteomic Analysis of Nectar of Liriodendron tulipifera Linn.

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Key Laboratory of Forest Genetics and Biotechnology, Ministry of Education, Nanjing Forestry UniversityNanjing, China; Co-Innovation Center for Sustainable Forestry in Southern China, College of Forestry, Nanjing Forestry UniversityNanjing, China.
College of Life and Environment Science, Huangshan University Huangshan, China.
School of Life science, Huaiyin Normal University Huai'an, China.


Nectar is a primary nutrient reward for a variety of pollinators. Recent studies have demonstrated that nectar also has defensive functions against microbial invasion. In this study, the Liriodendron tulipifera nectary was first examined by scanning electron microscopy, and then the nectar was analyzed by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, which led to identification of 42 nectar proteins involved in various biological functions. Bioinformatic analysis was then performed on an identified novel rubber elongation factor (REF) protein in L. tulipifera nectar. The protein was particularly abundant, representing ∼60% of the major bands of 31 to 43 kDa, and showed high, stage-specific expression in nectary tissue. The REF family proteins are the major allergens in latex. We propose that REF in L. tulipifera nectar has defensive characteristics against microorganisms.


Liriodendron tulipifera; defense; morphology; nectar protein; proteomics

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