Quantitative Nectar Solute Analysis of Asclepias syriaca (Common Milkweed) and Asclepias curassavica (Tropical Milkweed)
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Floral nectar is a potent ecological resource for pollinators. Recently, the avant-garde of nectar biochemistry has focused around the role of proteins in floral nectar. Our study focused on identifying evidence these floral nectar proteins, as well as determining sucrose and solute concentration in the nectar of milkweeds, Asclepias L. We found that in the floral nectar of Asclepias curassavica , some nectar proteins are close to 31 kDa in mass. Additionally, we also developed a novel approach for determining the amount of nectar solute in one Asclepias syriaca flower. Our study suggests that due to the high amount of nectar solute present in Asclepias L. nectar, there may be an underlying nectar redox cycle present; specifically in Asclepias curassavica. This project was supported by funding from F&M's Committee on Grants.
Poster presented at the 2018 Autumn Research Fair at Franklin and Marshall College