Abstract Detail



Reproductive Processes

Makowski, Hanna [1], Garrett, Patrick [2], Moore, Rich [3], Majetic, Cassie [4].

What makes scents sexy? The chemcial compostition of Canella winterana during sexual development stages.

Floral scent is a complex trait that is often critical to the reproductive success of animal-pollinated plants. Recent research suggests that scent can vary depending on the sex of flowers between and within plants.  We sought to determine whether floral scent expression changes as a plant exhibits differences in sexual stage. To address this objective, we used Canella winterana, a subtropical hardwood tree that exhibits a highly synchronized form of dichogamy. In synchronous dichogamy, sexual stages of flowers are temporally sequenced such that all flowers on a single plant express only one sex at any point in time. We used dynamic headspace extraction to collect scent of C. winterana floral tissue in female and male sexual phases. Scent was analyzed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Biologically relevant compounds were identified and quantified for each sample and compared using PERMANOVA,  non-metric multidimensional scaling, and MANOVA. We found C. winterana’s scent to be dominated by 5 compounds, with 42 minor compounds making up the remainder of the scent profile. PERMANOVA/NMDS showed no significant difference in overall scent profile between individuals or sexes within individual. MANOVA suggested that eight compounds were significantly different between individuals, but there were no clear patterns of variation.  Three compounds varied significantly between sexes within individuals.  Two of these show a consistent pattern:  females tend to have one or the other of the compounds, with rare presence in males. Future work should identify unknown floral scent compounds, increase within-plant sex samples, and directly explore the importance of C. winterana floral scent in pollinator attraction.


1 - Saint Mary's College, Biology , Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, IN, 46556, USA
2 - Miami University, Biology, 700 East High Street, Oxford, OH, 45056, United States
3 - Miami University, Biology, 316 Pearson, Oxford, OH, 45056, United States
4 - Saint Mary's College, Dept Of Biology, SR 933 North, Notre Dame, IN, 46556, United States

Keywords:
floral scent
synchronous dichogamy
Canella winterana
pollinator 
dynamic headspace extraction.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Number: 0004
Abstract ID:353
Candidate for Awards:None


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