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Mammal pollinators lured by the scent of a parasitic plant

Title data

Johnson, Steven D. ; Burgoyne, Priscilla M. ; Harder, Lawrence D. ; Dötterl, Stefan:
Mammal pollinators lured by the scent of a parasitic plant.
In: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B : Biological Sciences. Vol. 278 (2011) Issue 1716 . - pp. 2303-2310.
ISSN 1471-2954
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2010.2175

Abstract in another language

To communicate with animals, plants use signals that are distinct from their surroundings. Animals generally learn to use these signals through associative conditioning; however, signals are most effective when they elicit innate behavioural responses. Many plant species have flowers specialized for pollination by ground-dwelling mammals, but the signals used to attract these pollinators have not been elucidated. Here, we demonstrate the chemical basis for attraction of mammal pollinators to flowers of the dioecious parasitic plant Cytinus visseri (Cytinaceae). Two aliphatic ketones dominate the scent of this species; 3-hexanone, which elicits strong innate attraction in rodents, and 1-hexen-3-one, which repels them in isolation, but not in combination with 3-hexanone. The aliphatic ketone-dominated scent of C. visseri contrasts with those of insect-pollinated plants, which are typically dominated by terpenoids, aromatic or non-ketone aliphatic compounds. 3-hexanone is also known from some bat-pollinated species, suggesting independent evolution of plant signals in derived, highly specialized mammal-pollination systems.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER91286
Institutions of the University: Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology > Chair Plant Systematics
Faculties
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2015 10:25
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2015 10:25
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/15848