TITLE

Comparative analysis of floral scents in four sympatric species of Serapias L. (Orchidaceae): clues on their pollination strategies

AUTHOR(S)
Pellegrino, G.; Luca, A.; Bellusci, F.; Musacchio, A.
PUB. DATE
December 2012
SOURCE
Plant Systematics & Evolution;Dec2012, Vol. 298 Issue 10, p1837
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Orchid species of Mediterranean genus Serapias often live in sympatry, exhibit similar floral morphology, bloom in the same period and share the same pollinators. Previous studies on Serapias species have ascertained that reproductive isolation is based on pre-pollination barriers, that secretory cells and trichomes are typically distributed on the floral labellum and that flowers produce aliphatic compounds. In this study we compare the floral scent composition of four widespread, co-occurring Serapias species, namely Serapias lingua, Serapias parviflora, Serapias vomeracea and Serapias cordigera. Our goals are to assess if differences in floral scent may act as interspecific pre-pollination barriers and if these olfactory signals may be involved in the pollination strategy of Serapias. We find that all the selected species produce C20-C29 alkanes and alkenes and, in addition, have detected the presence in S. cordigera of large amounts of oleate and stearate ethyl ester. Our findings help to clarify that the sympatric Serapias species have slightly different floral scent signatures that may account for their relevant role as pre-pollination barriers. Therefore, the pollination strategy of Serapias relies not only on the tubular shape of their floral corolla but also on the production of olfactory signals that may lure potential pollinators and even assure a sufficient degree of pollinator fidelity.
ACCESSION #
83170448

 

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