Function Genomics of Nectar Production in Brassicaceae

R. Bender, P. Klinkenberg, Z. Jiang, B. Bauer, G. Karypis, N. Nguyen, M. Perera, B. Nikolau, and C. Carter
Flora: Morphology, Distribution, Functional Ecology of Plants Volume 207, Issue 7, pp. 491-496, 2012
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Nectar is a reward commonly offered by plants to attract potential pollinators, thereby ensuring outcrossing and efficient pollination. Until recently, little research has focused on the molecular components of nectar synthesis, and only a handful of genes have been shown to have a direct effect on nectary function. Recent transcriptomic data have made it possible to identify nectary-related candidate genes and further investigate their potential roles in the synthesis and secretion of nectar. Here we review the current state of research and address how our work aims to close gaps in knowledge relating to the process of nectar production. Using Brassicaceae species as models, we discuss the utilization of molecular and genomic tools available (i.e., sequenced genomes, T-DNA and TILLING mutants, sugar concentration assays, and metabolomics) to gain insight on the complex mechanisms of nectar secretion. Examples of preliminary data from this research are provided, and an online database ( housing this data is introduced.
Research topics: Bioinformatics