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Private channel: a single unusual compound assures specific pollinator attraction in Ficus semicordata

时间:2009-10-12  来源:科技外事处  作者:Chen C, Song QS, Proffit M  点击:116次
Title: Private channel: a single unusual compound assures specific pollinator attraction in Ficus semicordata
Authors: Chen C, Song QS, Proffit M, Bessiere JM, Li ZB, Hossaert-McKey M
Source: FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY, 23(5): 941-950   OCT 2009    IF=3.699
Abstract
: 1. Floral scents have been suggested to play a key role in the obligate pollination mutualism between figs and fig wasps. However, few studies have determined whether pollinator-attractive compounds could alone assure species-specificity ('private channel'), or whether specificity is mediated by more complex 'floral filters', of which scent is only one component.
2. We examined changes in the floral volatile compounds of Ficus semicordata, a dioecious fig species, during and after pollination using headspace collection and compound identification by Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS). One benzenoid compound, 4-methylanisole, was strongly predominant (94-98%) among the volatile compounds emitted by both male and female receptive figs of F. semicordata, whereas it was totally absent in the volatiles emitted by figs 4 days after pollination, as well as in receptive-stage volatiles emitted by two other sympatric fig species, Ficus racemosa and Ficus hispida.
3. Bioassays using the specific pollinator of F. semicordata, Ceratosolen gravelyi, in a Y-tube olfactometer showed that 4-methylanisole was attractive to C. gravelyi in a wide range of concentrations (from 1 center dot 22 x 10-2 ng/100 mu L to 1 center dot 22 x 106ng/100 mu L). Moreover, chemical blends lacking 4-methylanisole were unattractive to C. gravelyi. These non-active odour sources included volatile compounds emitted by receptive figs of the two other sympatric fig species and volatiles of F. semicordata post-pollination figs.
4. All these results suggest that 4-methylanisole is the main signal compound in the floral scent of F. semicordata that attracts its obligate pollinator to the host figs at the precise stage required for pollination and oviposition. Furthermore, the high proportion of 4-methylanisole in the odours of receptive figs of both sexes was consistent with the hypothesis of chemical mimicry in dioecious figs.
5. A simple signal comprised of one compound that is unusual among Ficus and that is an infrequent, usually minor, component of other floral odours, may thus function as a private channel in this specialized obligate mutualism.
Key Words: 4-methylanisole; behavioural tests; Ceratosolen gravelyi; chemical mediation; dioecy; nursery pollination mutualism; olfactory signal; post-pollination changes 

 

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