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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; Schäffler, I: Flower scent of floral-oil producing Lysimachia punctata as cue for the oil-bee Macropis fulvipes, Journal of Chemical Ecology, 33, 441-445 (2007), doi:DOI 10.1007/s10886-006-9237-2
Most flowers offer nectar and/or pollen as reward for the pollinators, however, some plants are known to produce fatty oil in the flowers, mostly instead of nectar. This oil is exclusively collected by specialised oil-bees, the (only) pollinators of the oil-plants. Until now nothing is known about the chemical communication in this oil-flower oil-bee pollination system, especially how the oil-bees find their hosts. We collected the floral and vegetative scent emitted by oil-producing Lysimachia punctata by dynamic headspace, and identified the compounds by gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-MS). 36 compounds were detected in the scent samples, and several of these compounds were flower-specific. Further, pentane extracts of flowers and floral oil were tested on Macropis fulvipes in a biotest. Flower as well as oil extracts attracted bees, and some of the compounds identified from whole flowers as well as from pure oil, and not often found in floral scent of other plants, may have been responsible for attraction.
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