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The sexual advantage of looking, smelling, and tasting good: the metabolic network that produces signals for pollinators


Borghi, Monica; Fernie, Alisdair R; Schiestl, Florian P; Bouwmeester, Harro J (2017). The sexual advantage of looking, smelling, and tasting good: the metabolic network that produces signals for pollinators. Trends in Plant Science, 22(4):338-350.

Abstract

A striking feature of the angiosperms that use animals as pollen carriers to sexually reproduce is the great diversity of their flowers with regard to morphology and traits such as color, odor, and nectar. These traits are underpinned by the synthesis of secondary metabolites such as pigments and volatiles, as well as carbohydrates and amino acids, which are used by plants to lure and reward animal pollinators. We review here the knowledge of the metabolic network that supports the biosynthesis of these compounds and the behavioral responses that these molecules elicit in the animal pollinators. Such knowledge provides us with a deeper insight into the ecology and evolution of plant-pollinator interactions, and should help us to better manage these ecologically essential interactions in agricultural ecosystems.

Abstract

A striking feature of the angiosperms that use animals as pollen carriers to sexually reproduce is the great diversity of their flowers with regard to morphology and traits such as color, odor, and nectar. These traits are underpinned by the synthesis of secondary metabolites such as pigments and volatiles, as well as carbohydrates and amino acids, which are used by plants to lure and reward animal pollinators. We review here the knowledge of the metabolic network that supports the biosynthesis of these compounds and the behavioral responses that these molecules elicit in the animal pollinators. Such knowledge provides us with a deeper insight into the ecology and evolution of plant-pollinator interactions, and should help us to better manage these ecologically essential interactions in agricultural ecosystems.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany
07 Faculty of Science > Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center
Dewey Decimal Classification:580 Plants (Botany)
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:24 Mar 2017 10:46
Last Modified:07 Apr 2017 01:04
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1360-1385
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tplants.2016.12.009
PubMed ID:28111171

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