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Intraspecific Combinations of Flower and Leaf Volatiles Act Together in Attracting Hawkmoth Pollinators

Knaden, Markus and Kárpáti, Zsolt and Reinecke, Andreas and Hansson, Bill S. (2013) Intraspecific Combinations of Flower and Leaf Volatiles Act Together in Attracting Hawkmoth Pollinators. PLOS ONE, 8 (9). e72805. ISSN 1932-6203

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Abstract

Insects pinpoint mates, food and oviposition sites by olfactory cues. Recognizing and localizing a suitable target by olfaction is demanding. Odor sources emit characteristic blends of compounds that have to be identified against an environmentally derived olfactory background. This background, however, does not necessarily disturb the localization of a source. Rather, the contrary. Sex pheromones become more attractive to male moths when being presented against a relevant plant background. Here we asked whether such olfactory coaction also characterizes foraging cues. The tobacco hornworm Manduca sexta feeds on nectar from wild tobacco Nicotiana attenuata and sacred datura Datura wrightii flowers. We tested how leaf-derived volatile blends as a background affect the moths’ approach to flower blends. We found coaction when a flower blend was presented against a conspecific leaf volatile background but not when the blend was presented against volatiles emitted by the other host plant or by a non-host plant. Hence, our results reveal a species-specific coaction between flower blend and leaf volatile background. The ability to integrate information from different odor sources on one plant might provide the moth with a fine-grained analysis of food site quality.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science / természettudomány > Q1 Science (General) / természettudomány általában
Q Science / természettudomány > QP Physiology / élettan
Depositing User: Dr. Zsolt Kárpáti
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2014 13:43
Last Modified: 10 Sep 2014 13:43
URI: http://real.mtak.hu/id/eprint/14655

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