The Plant Journal
Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
The great diversity of flowers, their color, odor, taste, and shape, is mostly a result of the metabolic processes that occur in this reproductive organ when the flower and its tissues develop, grow, and finally die. Some of these metabolites serve to advertise flowers to animal pollinators, other confer protection towards abiotic stresses, and a large proportion of the molecules of the central metabolic pathways have bioenergetic and signaling functions that support growth and the transition to fruits and seeds. Although recent studies have advanced our general understanding of flower metabolism, several questions still await an answer. Here, we have compiled a list of open questions on flower metabolism encompassing molecular aspects, as well as topics of relevance for agriculture and the ecosystem. These questions include the study of flower metabolism through development, the biochemistry of nectar and its relevance to promoting plant‐pollinator interaction, recycling of metabolic resources after flowers whiter and die, as well as the manipulation of flower metabolism by pathogens. We hope with this review to stimulate discussion on the topic of flower metabolism and set a reference point to return to in the future when assessing progress in the field.
Borghi M*, Fernie AR (2020). Outstanding questions in flower metabolism. The Plant Journal 103: 1275-1288.