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

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)

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.
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

Keywords

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

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