The Production and Protection of Nectars

  • María Escalante-Pérez
  • Martin HeilEmail author
Part of the Progress in Botany book series (BOTANY, volume 74)


Nectar secretion serves two important mutualisms. Floral nectar (FN) mediates pollination whereas extrafloral nectar (EFN) serves the indirect defence against herbivores. Research over the last decade has focused on the anti-microbial protection of nectars. The Nectar Redox Cycle consists of several nectar proteins (nectarins) in FN of ornamental tobacco and produces reactive oxygen species that keep the nectar free of microbes. Hydrolytic enzymes such as chitinases, glucanases and other pathogenesis-related (PR) proteins serve the same protective function in FN and EFN of different species, although via different biochemical mechanisms. By contrast, little is known about how nectaries are formed, where nectar components are produced and how nectar flow is controlled. Genes with a central role in flower development and nectary formation are CRABS CLAW (CRC) and BLADE-ON-PETIOLE (BOP) 1 and 2, but more studies are required to understand the genetic control of nectary formation and the mechanisms by which plants control nectar flow and composition.


Nectar Production Extrafloral Nectary Floral Nectar Indirect Defence Nectar Component 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Ingeniería GenéticaCINVESTAV—IrapuatoIrapuatoMéxico

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