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  • AID0090980200
  • DOI10.1093/aob/mci182

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Nectar-secreting Floral Stomata in Maxillaria anceps Ames & C. Schweinf. (Orchidaceae)

Annals of Botany
Annals of Botany
Журнал с антэкологическими публикациями.
Oxford University Press · office@annbot.com

, 2005. V. 96. No. 2. P. 217–227
Background and Aims Although it was generally assumed that Maxillaria spp. do not produce nectar, in recent years, nectar has been reported for a number of these orchids. Nevertheless, our current understanding of nectary structure and nectar secretion in Maxillaria is based solely on M. coccinea (Jacq.) L.O. Williams ex Hodge, which, since it shows many features characteristic of ornithophilous flowers, is atypical of this largely entomophilous genus. The aim of the present paper is to describe, for the first time, nectar secretion in a presumed entomophilous species of Maxillaria. Methods The structure of the nectary of M. anceps Ames & C. Schweinf., nectar composition and the process of nectar secretion were investigated using light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, histochemistry, refractometry and high performance liquid chromatography. Key Results and Conclusions Nectar appears as droplets that are exuded by modified stomata borne upon the labellar callus and collects upon the labellum and at the base of the column-foot. Although such stomata are known to occur in a number of angiosperm families, this is the first time for them to be observed in orchids. The callus consists largely of parenchyma with raphides and is supplied by eight to ten collateral bundles. This tissue, together with the single-layered epidermis, seemingly contains terpenoids. During the bud stage, the callus cells contain an organelle complement consistent with secretory cells whereas by day 4 of anthesis, much of the cell is occupied by a vacuole. The nectar is sucrose-dominant but also contains low concentrations of glucose, fructose, free amino acids and possibly terpenoids. The high sugar concentration (approx. 66 %) is consistent with melittophily and may indicate that, like the majority of Maxillaria spp., M. anceps is visited by stingless bees (Meliponini).

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