Research report 2011 - Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology

The beauty of deception

Authors
Hansson, Bill S.
Departments
Abteilung Evolutionäre Neuroethologie
Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie, Jena
Summary
Plants of the Arum family and many orchids have something in common: they deceive flying insects using chemical deception to be pollinated and to transmit pollen to neighboring flowers. Flowers emit volatile compounds that e.g. imitate yeast-dependent fermentation products to attract vinegar flies, while others mimic female sex pheromones to seduce male insects. The duped insects are not rewarded with nectar for their indeliberate pollination service. Analysis of the volatiles involved in these deceptive mechanisms allows new insights into the ecology and co-evolution of plants and insects.

For the full text, see the German version.

Go to Editor View