Navigation Links
Plants mimic scent of pollinating beetles
Date:4/3/2012

This release is available in German.

The color and scent of flowers and their perception by pollinator insects are believed to have evolved in the course of mutual adaptation. However, an evolutionary biologist from the University of Zurich has now proved that this is not the case with the arum family at least, which evolved its scent analogously to the pre-existing scents of scarab beetles and thus adapted to the beetles unilaterally. The mutual adaptation between plants and pollinators therefore does not always take place.

Soon, the gardens and fields will be blooming, fragrant and buzzing again. Bees, flies and beetles fly, as they have done for millions of years, from flower to flower in search of food or mates, drawn by flower shapes, colors and the scents of the individual plants. Often, pollinating insects favor certain scents and preferentially visit the flowers in question. Previously, researchers always assumed that floral scents and the fondness of pollinating insects for a specific scent evolved mutually via coevolution of plants and insects. However, the evolutionary biologist Florian Schiestl from the University of Zurich now proves that this was not the case with the arum family and their pollinators.

Scent of the scarab beetle mimicked

Schiestl and a colleague from Bayreuth studied the arum family and one of its pollinators, the scarab beetles. In the beetles, they discovered many scent molecules used for chemical communication that were also found in the plants. Based on a phylogenetic reconstruction, they realized that these scents were already present in the ancestors of today's scarab beetles. Evidently, these prehistoric scarab beetles already used the same or similar scents back in the Jurassic period to find food or mates. Unlike today's scarab beetles, these ancestors did not pollinate plants, the first members of the arum family to be pollinated by beetles not appearing until around 40 million years later. "In the course of evolution, the arum family mimicked the scents of scarab beetles to attract pollinating insects more efficiently," says Schiestl.

Coevolution less common than assumed

In research, coevolution is regarded as a driving force behind the development of a mutual adaptation between two organisms. However, this is not true of the arum family, which developed its scent along the pre-existing communication of scarab beetle scents. "Coevolution between plants and pollinating insects might well be less common than we thought," Schiestl concludes.


'/>"/>

Contact: Dr. Florian Schiestl
florian.schiestl@systbot.uzh.ch
41-446-348-409
University of Zurich
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Commercial aquatic plants offer cost-effective method for treating wastewater
2. UC Riverside biochemists devise method for bypassing aluminum toxicity effects in plants
3. Reproducing early and often is the key to rapid evolution in plants
4. MSU scientists find new gene that helps plants beat the heat
5. Researchers design artificial cells that could power medical implants
6. When under attack, plants can signal microbial friends for help
7. Current mass extinction spurs major study of which plants to save
8. Scientists unveil mechanism for up and down in plants
9. New hybrid plants could prompt more prodigious pepper production in Southwest
10. Extreme weather postpones the flowering time of plants
11. Even plants benefit from outsourcing
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Plants mimic scent of pollinating beetles
(Date:3/9/2017)... SAN FRANCISCO and MOUNTAIN VIEW, ... Zipongo , "Eating Well Made Simple," and 23andMe ... to help guide better food choices.  Zipongo can now ... only their food preferences, health goals and biometrics, but ... to certain food choices. Zipongo,s personalized food ...
(Date:3/2/2017)... LONDON , March 2, 2017 Summary ... require to better understand Merck KGaA and its partnering ... report: https://www.reportbuyer.com/product/3605601/ Description The Partnering Deals ... into the partnering activity of one of the world,s ... reports are prepared upon purchase to ensure inclusion of ...
(Date:2/28/2017)... Germany , February 28, 2017 News ... ... Amsterdam from 14 to 16 March, Materna ... destination, and show how seamless travel is a real benefit for ... has added biometrics to their passenger touch point solutions to take ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/23/2017)... CT (PRWEB) , ... March 23, 2017 , ... ... LLC, was recently selected by the Connecticut Technology Council (CTC) as a 2017 ... at CTC’s thirteenth annual Women of Innovation Awards Dinner. , The dinner recognizes ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... , March 23, 2017 ... at four equities in the Biotech industry: Sangamo Therapeutics ... Biologics Inc. (NYSE MKT: SYN), and Regulus Therapeutics Inc. ... st , 2017, Credit Suisse upgraded its rating on Pharmaceuticals/Biotechnology ... downloading their free report at: ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... , March 22, 2017  UBM and the ... announce their extended partnership and the third annual Massachusetts ... by the 21 st Annual MassMEDIC Conference ... place May 3-4, 2017. MassMEDIC ... Association (ADVAMED) President and CEO, Scott Whitaker ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... , March 22, 2017 MarketNewsUpdates.com ... ... cancer conditions are being pressured as of late due to ... cancer pain management has a dramatic impact on patient,s quality ... and development activities for identifying new forms of opioid formulations ...
Breaking Biology Technology: