Biotech Updates

Scientists Identify Sugar Transporter for Nectar Production

April 2, 2014

An international group of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Germany and their colleagues in the United States have identified the sugar transporter that plays a key role in nectar production, an important but less known plant process.

The group, led by Wolf Frommer, director of the Plant Biology Department in Carnegie Institution for Science in Stanford, identified key components of the sugar synthesis and secretion mechanisms. They found SWEET9, a sugar transporter in three diverse flowering plant species including thale cress, turnip, and coyote tobacco, and showed that it is essential for nectar production. They also identified genes necessary for the production of sucrose, which turn out to be also essential for nectar secretion. Their work showed that SWEET9 transports manufactured sucrose into extracellular spaces of nectaries.

For more information about this research, read the news release available at