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Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Deep in the Jelly: Histochemical and Functional Aspects of Mucilage-Secreting Floral Colleters in the Orchids Elleanthus brasiliensis and E. crinipes
Author(s): Cassola, Fábio
Nunes, Carlos Eduardo Pereira
Lusa, Makeli Garibotti
Garcia, Vera Lúcia
Mayer, Juliana Lischka Sampaio
Keywords: Atlantic Forest
histochemistry analysis
plant anatomy and morphology
secretory structure
Issue Date: 24-Apr-2019
Citation: Cassola F, Nunes CEP, Lusa MG, Garcia VL & Mayer JLS (2019) Deep in the Jelly: Histochemical and Functional Aspects of Mucilage-Secreting Floral Colleters in the Orchids Elleanthus brasiliensis and E. crinipes. Frontiers in Plant Science, 10, Art. No.: 518.
Abstract: Colleters are trichomes or emergencies that produce a sticky exudate consisting of a mixture of mucilage, lipids, terpenes, and phenolic compounds. Colleters occur in at least 60 families of angiosperms; however, reports of them are scarce for the Orchidaceae. Elleanthus brasiliensis is distinguished by the presence of an abundant gelatinous secretion that covers almost all of its inflorescences. We aimed to describe the histology of colleters in inflorescences of E. brasiliensis and Elleanthus crinipes, and to analyze the chemical composition of their secretion to better understand the functions of these secretory structures. Due to the low frequency of colleters and lack of visible secretion in E. crinipes, histochemical tests and chemical analyses were not performed for this species. Colleters are of a brush type and their secretion has, at the same time, hydrophilic and lipophilic components. Histochemical tests further revealed the presence of pectin, mucilage, lipids, terpenes, phenolic compounds, and proteins. The GC-MS analysis confirmed the presence of γ-sitosterol and palmitic, linoleic, and stearic acids in the secretion of E. brasiliensis. Infrared analysis indicated the possible presence of polysaccharides in the secretion. The occurrence of colleters in both species studied and in other orchids described in the literature suggests that these structures are common in the inflorescences of tropical orchids. In these environments, the hydrated polysaccharides in the secretion form a dense matrix that can act as a physical barrier, and terpenes may help to protect against herbivores and pathogenic microorganisms. This information broadens our knowledge of the morphological and chemical diversity of the secretions produced by orchid colleters.
DOI Link: 10.3389/fpls.2019.00518
Rights: © 2019 Cassola, Nunes, Lusa, Garcia and Mayer. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY - The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

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