Metabolomics of Flower Anthesis

Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

Annual Meeting of the Phytochemical Society of North America


Johnson City, TN

Publication Date



How metabolism changes during development and what drive those changes are open questions in flower biology. During flower development, the onset of anthesis is a time of remarkable transformations: petals 16 unroll and stretch out, style and filaments elongate, scent emission and nectar secretion commence and pollination occur. As such, a complete reprogramming of flower metabolism is expected to occur in preanthesis when flowers prepare for pollination as well as in post-anthesis when functional flowers transition to fruits to sustain development and maturation of the embryo and seed set. To shed light onto the physiological process occurring at time of flower anthesis, we combined metabolomics and transcriptomics approaches and measured the whole set of primary (sugars, amino acids, and organic acids), specialized (flavonoids, carotenoids, and volatile organic compounds) metabolites and transcripts in a developmental series of flowers of Arabidopsis thaliana. We observed a dramatic metabolic shift characterized by two opposite trends of primary metabolite accumulation. One first group of primary metabolites showed low-abundance in preanthesis and high abundance in post-anthesis and a second group of primary metabolites showed the opposite behavior. Conversely, secondary metabolites of the class of flavonoids showed progressive accumulation all thought flower development. Feeding experiments with 13C and 14C labeled glucose were performed to assess the flux through the pathways of central metabolism, which reveal utilization of sugar resources for the production of the cell wall and partitioning into nectar. These metabolic changes and the transcripts that support these changes will be discussed.

This document is currently not available here.