Despite the obvious importance of nectar, the composition of this solution remains surprisingly understudied to most of the flowers. Here we describe a simple, low-cost, and reliable methodology to analyze the three main sugars present in 210 nectar samples of Christmas Bellflowers using capillary electrophoresis (CE) and enzymatic assays. CE separation (-16 kV) was made using an electrolyte containing 36 mM NaOH pH 12, 15 mM sorbic acid, 0.5 mM hexadecyl trimethylammonium bromide (CTAB), and indirect UV detection. 72.9% of analyzed nectar samples were sucrose dominant; 13.3% sucrose rich only and 13.8% were fructose rich. The concentrations of fructose and glucose present in most of the samples were very similar, while the amount of sucrose varied considerably. The average amounts of fructose, glucose, sucrose and total sugar were 0.22, 0.21, 0.34 and 0.8 M, respectively. The nectar sample shows a pH average of 5. α-Glucosidase activity was observed in 65% of the samples with an average activity of 0.013 µU µL-1 providing a possible explanation for the similar concentrations of fructose and glucose in the samples. Under our knowledge, this is the first article that shows the analysis of sugars in nectar flowers using CE.
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- Capillary electrophoresis