The Sexual Advantage of Looking, Smelling and Tasting Good: the Metabolic Network that Produces Signals for Pollinators
Trends in Plant Science
Elsevier Ltd. * Trends Journals
A striking feature of the angiosperms that use animals as pollen carriers to sexually reproduce is the great diversity of their flowers with regard to morphology and traits such as color, odor, and nectar. These traits are underpinned by the synthesis of secondary metabolites such as pigments and volatiles, as well as carbohydrates and amino acids, which are used by plants to lure and reward animal pollinators. We review here the knowledge of the metabolic network that supports the biosynthesis of these compounds and the behavioral responses that these molecules elicit in the animal pollinators. Such knowledge provides us with a deeper insight into the ecology and evolution of plant-pollinator interactions, and should help us to better manage these ecologically essential interactions in agricultural ecosystems.
Borghi M, Fernie AR, Schiestl FP, Bouwmeester HJ (2017) The sexual advantage of looking, smelling and tasting good: the metabolic network that produces signals for pollinators. Trends in Plant Science 22(4): 338-350