The morphology and ultrastructure of the nectaries of marrow (Cucurbita pepo L. convar. giromontiina)

Marta Dmitruk, Elżbieta Weryszko-Chmielewska


The present study investigated the size and structure of the nectaries in flowers of marrow – Cucurbita pepo convar. giromontiina cv. ‘Weiser Busch’. The diameter and thickness of nectariferous layer were compared in female and male flowers of this taxon. The micromorphology as well as the anatomical and ultrastructural characters of the nectary from the female flower were observed using light, scanning and transmission electron microscopy. The density and size of stomata of the nectary epidermis from both types of flowers were examined using light microscopy. The nectaries in female flowers were found to have a larger size than in male flowers. The stomata occurring in the nectary epidermis of both types of flowers have a similar size and density. We observed that nectar was released onto the surface of the nectary not only via the stomata, but also through the walls of the epidermal cells. In TEM examination, large nuclei, different-shaped plastids, ER tubules, dictyosomes, and ribosomes were observed in the nectariferous tissue cells. A large number of mitochondria accompanying the plastids were found in the parenchyma cells of the nectary. The degradation of the nectary parenchyma cells in the flowers living for about 6 hours was asynchronous.


nectary; size; micromorphology; anatomy; ultrastructure; marrow; Cucurbita pepo; flowers

Full Text:



Szweykowska A., Szweykowski J. Słownik Botaniczy. Wiedza Powszechna, Warszawa; 2003. (in Polish)

Fahn A. Studies in the ecology of nectar secretion. Palest J of Bot., Jerus. Ser. 1949; 4: 207–224.

Maurizio A., Grafl I. Das Trachtpflanzenbuch. Nectar und Pollen die wichtigsten Nahrungsquellen der Honigbiene. Band 4. Ehernwirth Verlag München, 1969. (in German)

Nepi M., Pacini E., Wilemse M.T.M. Nectary biology of Cucurbita pepo: ecophysiological aspects. Acta Bot Need. 1996; 45(1): 41–54.

Lipiński M. Pożytki pszczele, zapylanie i miododajność roślin. Powszechne Wydawnictwo Rolnicze i Leśne, Warszawa; 1982. (in Polish)

Dmitruk M. Biologia kwitnienia i oblot przez owady zapylające kwiatów dyni zwyczajnej (Cucurbita pepo L.) / Flowering biology, nectar production and insect visits in Cucurbita pepo L. flowers. Acta Agrobot. 2006; 59(1): 183–197. (in Polish)

Demianowicz Z. Rośliny miododajne. Powszechne Wydawnictwo Rolnicze i Leśne, Warszawa; 1953. (in Polish)

Shaw T.R. The sugar concentration of the nectar of some New England honey plants. Glean Bee Cult. 1953; 81:


Kaziev T.I., Seibova S.S. Nektaroproduktivnost’ cvetkov predstavitelej tykvennyh v ustalovijah Azerbajdžana. XX Jubilejnyj Meždynarodnyj Kongress po Pčelovodstvu Izdatel’stvo, Moskva; 1965: 45–149. (in Russian)

Dmitruk M. Flowering, nectar production and insects visits in two cultivars of Cucurbita maxima Duch. flowers. Acta Agrobot. 2008; 61(1): 99–106.

Ashworth L., Galetto L. Differential nectar production between male and female flowers in wild cucurbit: Cucurbita maxima ssp. andreana (Cucurbitaceae). Can J. Bot. 2002; 80: 1203–1208.

Nepi M., Pacini E. Pollination, Pollen Viability and Pistil Receptivity in Cucurbita pepo. Ann. Bot. 1993; 72: 527–536.

Nepi M., Ciampolini F., Pacini E. 1996. Development and Ultractructure of Cucurbita pepo Nectaries of Male Flowers. Ann. Bot. 1996; 78: 95–104.

Fahn A., Simony C. Nectary structure and ultrastructure of unisexual flowers of Ecballium elaterium (L.) A. Rich (Cucurbitaceae) and their presumptive pollinators. Ann. Bot. 2001; 87:27–33.

Bernardello G. A systematic survey of floral nectaries. In: Nicolson SW, Nepi M, Pacini E (eds). Nectaries and nectar. Springer, Dordrecht, 2007.

Nepi M., Guarnieri M., Pacini E. Nectar secretion, reabsorption, and sugar composition in male and female flowers of Cucurbita pepo. Inf. J. Plant Sci 2001; 162: 353–358.

Yi-Ben Peng, Yi-Qin Li, Yu-Jin Hao, Zhi-Hong Xu, Shu-Nong Bai. Nectar production and trasportation in the nectaries of the female Cucumis sativus L. flower during anthesis. Protoplasma. 2004; 224: 71–78.

Stpiczyńska M, Nepi M. Ecophysiological aspects of nectar reabsorbtion. Acta Agrobot. 2006; 59(1): 61–69.

Nepi M. Nectary structure and ultrastructure. [In:] S.W. Nicolson, M. Nepi, E. Pacini (eds). Nectaries and nectar. Springer, Dordrecht, 2007.

Evert R.F. The Protoplast: Plasma Membrane, Nucleus, and Cytoplasmic Organelles. In: Esau’s Plant Anatomy. Meristems, Cells, and Tissues of the Plant Body – Their Structure, Function, and Development, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. New Jersey, 2006.

Thornburg R. Molecular biology of the Nicotiana floral nectary. [In:] S.W. Nicolson, M. Nepi, E. Pacini (eds), Nectaries and nectar. Springer, Dordrecht, 2007.

Weryszko-Cmmielewska E, Bożek M. Structure of trichomatous nectaries in flowers of Lonicera kamtschatica (Sevast.) Pojark. Acta Agrobot. 2008; 61(1): 13–26.

Paiva E.A.S., Machado S.R. The floral nectary of Hymenaea stigonocarpa (Fabaceae, Caesalpinioideae): structural aspects during floral development. Ann. Bot. 2008; 101(1): 125–133.

Wist T.J., Davis A.R. Floral nectar production and nectary anatomy and ultrastructure of Echinacea purpurea (Asteraceae). Ann. Bot 2006; 97(2): 177–193.

Chwil M., Chwil S. Micromorphology and ultrastructure of the floral nectaries of Polemonium caeruleum L. (Polemoniaceae). Protoplasma, 2012; 249(4): 1059–69.

Wojtaszek P., Woźny A., Ratajczak L. Biologia komórki roślinnej. Powszechne Wydawnictwo Naukowe, Warszawa; 2006. (in Polish)


Journal ISSN:
  • 2300-357X (online)
  • 0065-0951 (print; ceased since 2016)
This is an Open Access journal, which distributes its content under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, provided that the content is properly cited.
The journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and aims to follow the COPE’s principles.
The journal publisher is a member of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association.
The journal content is indexed in Similarity Check, the Crossref initiative to prevent scholarly and professional plagiarism.
Polish Botanical Society