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Identification of (Z)-8-Heptadecene and n-Pentadecane as Electrophysiologically Active Compounds in Ophrys insectifera and Its Argogorytes Pollinator
University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA, Australia; Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Alnarp.
Australian National University, Acton, ACT, Australia.
Stockholm University, Stockholm.
University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA, Australia.
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2020 (English)In: International Journal of Molecular Sciences, ISSN 1422-0067, E-ISSN 1422-0067, Vol. 21, no 2Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Sexually deceptive orchids typically depend on specific insect species for pollination, which are lured by sex pheromone mimicry. European Ophrys orchids often exploit specific species of wasps or bees with carboxylic acid derivatives. Here, we identify the specific semiochemicals present in O. insectifera, and in females of one of its pollinator species, Argogorytes fargeii. Headspace volatile samples and solvent extracts were analysed by GC-MS and semiochemicals were structurally elucidated by microderivatisation experiments and synthesis. (Z)-8-Heptadecene and n-pentadecane were confirmed as present in both O. insectifera and A. fargeii female extracts, with both compounds being found to be electrophysiologically active to pollinators. The identified semiochemicals were compared with previously identified Ophrys pollinator attractants, such as (Z)-9 and (Z)-12-C27-C29 alkenes in O. sphegodes and (Z)-9-octadecenal, octadecanal, ethyl linoleate and ethyl oleate in O. speculum, to provide further insights into the biosynthesis of semiochemicals in this genus. We propose that all these currently identified Ophrys semiochemicals can be formed biosynthetically from the same activated carboxylic acid precursors, after a sequence of elongation and decarbonylation reactions in O. sphegodes and O. speculum, while in O. insectifera, possibly by decarbonylation without preceding elongation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2020. Vol. 21, no 2
Keywords [en]
fly orchid, Ophrys, pollination, semiochemicals, sexual deception
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-38352DOI: 10.3390/ijms21020620ISI: 000515380000250Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85078278682OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-38352DiVA, id: diva2:1391000
Available from: 2020-02-03 Created: 2020-02-03 Last updated: 2020-03-11Bibliographically approved

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