Stages of development of the floral secretory disk in Tapirira guianensis Aubl. (Anacardiaceae), a dioecious species
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The goal of this study was to analyse possible structural and ultrastructural differences between the secretory disk of male and functionally female flowers of Tapirira guianensis (Anacardiaceae) at different developmental stages. Studies were carried out using light, scanning and transmission electron microscopy. Biochemical tests were employed to determine the proportion of sugars in the nectar of the floral morphotypes: they were found to be similar, both predominantly composed of sucrose. In addition to sugars, lipids and phenolic substances were identified in anthetic flowers; thus, the secretory disk is a mixed secretion gland, also called a sensu lato nectary. During anthesis, granulocrine and eccrine secretory mechanisms occur in both floral morphotypes. After anthesis and fertilization of the functionally female flower, only the lipophilic and phenolic secretion continues until the early stages of fruit development. An intrastaminal secretory disk that produces both nectar and lipids is reported for the first time in Anacardiaceae.