From floral nectar to the skin: How to apprehend the microbiota in cosmetics
Just as our skin, plants host a wide variety of microorganisms. In particular, this microbiota colonises floral nectar and modifies its composition, affecting the behaviour of pollinators and thereby the fertility of plants. This major finding provides new possibilities for application to natural active cosmetics. Our innovative and pioneering research team made the bold choice to use its expertise in mastering nature and biotechnologies to specifically isolate the most adaptogenic yeast from floral nectar. The industrial-scale culture of this yeast has yielded a biomass suited for use as a natural raw material for the development of biomimetic cosmetic active ingredients.
INSIGHTS ON THE COMPOSITION OF FLORAL NECTAR
Whether seen as the mythical drink of Olympian gods or the plant substance foraged by bees to fabricate honey, nectar feeds our imagination by its sweet nature (Figure 1). For more than a century, nectar has also whetted the intellectual appetite of several generations of scientists in an attempt to elucidate its mysteries. Studies have led to the distinction between extra-floral nectar, that attracts predatory insects to limit herbivory, and floral nectar that attracts pollinators to ensure fertilisation and outcrossing (1).
Floral nectar is composed of various molecules that all play a role in the ecosystem of the plant (2):
- sugars are the prime energy source for pollinators that can account for as much as 80% of total carbohydrates;
- amino acids are present in smaller quantities but are an important nitrogen source for microorganisms at the same time as imparting attractive flavour to nectar;
- secondary metabolites attract pollinators or inversely repel unwanted nectarivores that diminish its quality;
- proteins of nectar, or nectarins, play a defensive role by p ... ...