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(Reference retrieved automatically from Web of Science through information on FAPESP grant and its corresponding number as mentioned in the publication by the authors.)

Structure and function of secretory glochids and nectar composition in two Opuntioideae (Cactaceae) species

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de Melo Silva, Stefany Cristina [1] ; Machado, Silvia Rodrigues [1] ; Nepi, Massimo [2] ; Rodrigues, Tatiane Maria [1]
Total Authors: 4
[1] Sao Paulo State Univ, UNESP, Inst Biosci, Dept Bot, BR-18618970 Botucatu, SP - Brazil
[2] Univ Siena, Dept Life Sci, I-53100 Siena - Italy
Total Affiliations: 2
Document type: Journal article
Source: BOTANY; v. 98, n. 8, p. 425-437, AUG 2020.
Web of Science Citations: 0

Cactaceae exhibit highly modified spines that are considered to be extrafloral nectaries (EFNs). Despite their ecological and taxonomical relevance in this family, little is known on their structure and function. We have described the anatomy, ontogenesis, and ultrastructure of the secretory glochids in two Opuntioideae species. Young cladodes of Braslliopuntia brasiliensis (Willd.) A. Berger and Nopalea cochenfilifera (L) Salm-Dyck were processed for light and electron microscopy studies. The composition of the secretions was analyzed by high performance liquid chromatography. The secretory glochids were soft, massive, and barbed, as well as translucent. Hyaline droplets on the secretory glochid apex were collected by aggressive ants. The secretory glochids originated from the areolar meristem, beginning as small protuberances formed by protoderm and ground meristem. Mature secretory glochids consisted of a central multiseriate axis of ground cells covered by uniseriate epidermis with a continuous cuticle, and exhibited three regions: (i) dilated vascularized base with parenchyma cells exhibiting features associated to nectar secretion; (ii) elongated median region with juxtaposed fusiform non-lignified parenchyma cells; and (iii) tapered apical portion with immature fibers loosely arranged cells. The exudate was sucrose-dominant with a similar amino acid profile in both species. Our results shed light on the secretory activity of glochids in Cactaceae and their role in cactus-ant interactions. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 17/14891-5 - Anatomical, chemical and ultrastructural characterization of secretory spines in two Cactaceae species
Grantee:Stefany Cristina de Melo Silva
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Master