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Faculty for Biology, Chemistry, and Earth Sciences

Department of Plant Systematics: Angiosperm Working Group - Prof. Dr. Sigrid Liede-Schumann

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Dötterl, S; Burkhardt, D; Jürgens, A; Mosandl, A: Stereoisomeric pattern of lilac aldehyde in Silene latifolia, a plant involved in a nursery pollination system, Phytochemistry, 68, 499-504 (2007)
The monoterpene lilac aldehyde is found in floral scent of several plants species, among them Silene latifolia. This plant is involved in a nursery pollination system, because a noctuid moth, Hadena bicruris, is not only pollinator but also seed predator. Lilac aldehyde is the key floral scent compound of S. latifolia for attracting Hadena. This monoterpene has three stereogenic centers, and eight different isomers are possible. Here, we analysed the ratio of lilac aldehyde isomers from plants originating from 18 different populations of S. latifolia using enantioselective multidimensional GC-MS (enantio-MDGC-MS), and compared resulting variability with variability found in total scent emitted by specimen under study. Though variability in total emitted scent was high, ratio of lilac aldehyde isomers was a more conservative trait. There was no correlation between the ratio of lilac aldehyde isomers and the total emitted floral scent pattern. Both, ratio of stereoisomers and total emitted scent were independent from the geographic origin of the plants. In conclusion, the ratio of lilac aldehyde stereoisomers in Silene latifolia is a reliable trait, and may used by the nursery pollinator Hadena bicruris for host-plant detection.
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