A dual function for 4-methoxybenzaldehyde in Petasites fragrans? : Pollinator-attractant and ant-repellent
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Ant-repellent floral volatiles offer one method through which plants can mediate the detrimental effects of ants on flowers. Although the repellence itself is well-documented, the volatiles involved are less well explored. Here we investigated the floral bouquet of ant-repellent male flowers of Petasites fragrans, identifying 4-methoxybenzaldehyde as the main component. 4-methoxybenzaldehyde significantly repelled ants when presented in isolation in an olfactometer and thus is the likely source of the repellent effect. As 4-methoxybenzaldehyde has previously been shown to attract pollinators, it may therefore have a dual function in P. fragrans, pollinator-attractant and ant-repellent. Additionally, 4-methoxybenzaldehyde is particularly interesting as an ant-repellent as it has been observed in the bouquets of other plant species with specific ant interactions.
Pattrick , J G , Shepherd , T , Hoppitt , W , Plowman , N S & Willmer , P 2017 , ' A dual function for 4-methoxybenzaldehyde in Petasites fragrans ? : Pollinator-attractant and ant-repellent ' Arthropod-Plant Interactions , vol 11 , no. 5 , pp. 623-627 . DOI: 10.1007/s11829-017-9519-3
© The Author(s) 2017. Open Access. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
JGP was jointly funded by a Natural Environment Research Council studentship, Grant number NE/H524930/1, and the University of St Andrews. Part of this work was funded by the Rural & Environment Science & Analytical Services Division of the Scottish Government.
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