Anatomy and ultrastructure of floral nectaries of Asphodelus aestivus Brot. (Asphodelaceae)

Elżbieta Weryszko-Chmielewska, Thomas Sawidis, Krystyna Piotrowska


The structure of septal nectaries in Asphodelus aestivus flowers was investigated by using light microscopy (LM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (EM). It was found that the outlets of the three parts of the nectary were situated on the ovary surface at 2/3 of its height and had the shape of elongated openings. The nectariferous tissue was in the septa of the lower part of the ovary. The secretory tissue cells formed 1-3 layers surrounding the nectary slits. They contained thin cell walls with the cuticle layer from the slit side, large cell nuclei, numerous mitochondria and plastids characterised by various shapes. In plastids, small starch grains occurred sporadically. At the beginning of anthesis, the cells were poorly vacuolized. ER cisternae and secretory vesicles were located near the outer cell wall. Fibrous substance was present in the nectary slits. In the subglandular tissue, numerous starch grains occurred at the beginning of anthesis. In this zone, cells containing raphides and xylem elements were observed. Based on the ultrastructure of the nectary it can be stated that granulocrine nectar secretion occurs in A. aestivus.


flower; septal nectaries; anatomy; ultrastructure; Asphodelus aestivus

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