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For certain orchids, relatives more important than pollinators in shaping floral attractants
Date:10/26/2011

the group of oil-secreting orchids as a whole, the role of phylogenetic constraint is more important for determining overall scent composition of the fragrances than natural selection."

The authors are still hot on the trail of this flower/bee puzzle and are currently working on identifying the compounds that stimulate the olfactory sensilla of the bee's antennae. As Steiner notes, "We still need to examine the individual chemical constituents in the fragrances of oil-secreting orchids and to test which of these compounds can be detected physiologically by the oil-collecting bees. Then we can determine which of the myriad of compounds in the scents we have already analyzed are attractive to the oil-collecting bees."


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Contact: Richard Hund
rhund@botany.org
314-577-9557
American Journal of Botany
Source:Eurekalert  

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