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Type: Journal article
Title: Physiological temperature regulation by flowers of the sacred lotus
Author: Seymour, R.
Schultze-Motel, P.
Lamprecht, L.
Citation: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 1998; 353(1371):935-943
Issue Date: 1998
ISSN: 0962-8436
Abstract: <jats:p>Flowers of the sacred lotus,<jats:italic>Nelumbo nucifera</jats:italic>Gaertn. (Nelumbonaceae) are thermogenic and physiologically thermoregulatory. The 42 g flowers remain between 30–36°C during a 2 to 4–day period despite fluctuations in environmental temperatures between about 10–45°C. As the ambient temperature drops, the flowers increase heat production in proportion. Temperature regulation apparently occurs at a cellular level, by a steep, reversible thermal inhibition of respiration at flower temperatures above 30°C. There was a marked time lag between change in flower temperature and compensatory response, suggesting regulation through a biochemical feedback mechanism rather than structural changes in enzymes or membranes. By oxidizing carbohydrate, the flowers produce up to 1 W, with about half of the heat coming from the 8.5 g carpellary receptacle. The period of temperature regulation begins before petal opening and continues through the period of stigma receptivity. Temperature regulation may reward insect pollinators with a warm, equable environment, or it possibly enhances and coordinates flower development.</jats:p>
DOI: 10.1098/rstb.1998.0258
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Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest
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