Floral Metabolism of Sugars and Amino Acids: Implications for Pollinators’ Preferences and Seed and Fruit Set
American Society of Plant Biologists
Primary metabolism in flowers sustains a plenitude of physiological and ecological functions related to floral development and plant reproduction. Carbohydrates and amino acids provide energy and precursors for the reactions of floral secondary metabolism, such as the molecules for color and scent, and constitute an important resource of food for the pollinators. Recent discoveries have advanced our understanding of the cycles of carbohydrate hydrolysis and resynthesis that regulate pollen development, pollen tube growth, and pollination as well as the composition of nectar. Pathways of de novo amino acid biosynthesis have been described in flowers, and the proteins that regulate pollen tube guidance and ultimately control fertilization are being progressively characterized. Finally, a novel field of research is emerging that investigates the chemical modification of sugars and amino acids by colonizing microorganisms and how these affect the pollinators’ preferences for flowers. In this Update article, we provide an overview of the new discoveries and future directions concerning the study of the primary metabolism of flowers.
Borghi M*, Fernie AR (2017). Floral Metabolism of Sugars and Amino Acids: Implications for Pollinators’ Preferences and Seed and Fruit Set. Plant Physiology 175 (4), 1510-1524