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A dual function for 4-methoxybenzaldehyde in Petasites fragrans? Pollinator-attractant and ant-repellent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Author(s)

Jonathan Gilson Pattrick, Tom Shepherd, Will Hoppitt, Nichola S. Plowman, Pat Willmer

School/Research organisations

Abstract

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.
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Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)623-627
Number of pages5
JournalArthropod-Plant Interactions
Volume11
Issue number5
Early online date18 Apr 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017

    Research areas

  • Petasites fragrans, Ant-repellent floral volatiles, 4-methoxybenzaldehyde, p-anisaldehyde

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