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Fruit and Seed Volatiles: Multiple Stage Settings, Actors and Props in an Evolutionary Play

Borges, Renee M (2015) Fruit and Seed Volatiles: Multiple Stage Settings, Actors and Props in an Evolutionary Play. In: JOURNAL OF THE INDIAN INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE, 95 (1). pp. 93-104.

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Plants emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from most parts of their anatomy. Conventionally, the volatiles of leaves, flowers, fruits and seeds have been investigated separately. This review presents an integrated perspective of volatiles produced by fruits and seeds in the context of selection on the whole plant. It suggests that fruit and seed volatiles may only be understood in the light of the chemistry of the whole plant. Fleshy fruit may be viewed as an ecological arena within which several evolutionary games are being played involving fruit VOCs. Fruit odour and colour may be correlated and interact via multimodal signalling in influencing visits by frugivores. The hypothesis of volatile crypsis in the evolution of hard seeds as protection against volatile diffusion and perception by seed predators is reviewed. Current views on the role of volatiles in ant dispersal of seeds or myrmecochory are summarised, especially the suggestion that ants are being manipulated by plants in the form of a sensory trap while providing this service. Plant VOC production is presented as an emergent phenotype that could result from multiple selection pressures acting on various plant parts; the ``plant'' phenotype and VOC profile may receive significant contributions from symbionts within the plant. Viewing the plant as a holobiont would benefit an understanding of the emergent plant phenotype.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: fruit volatiles; holobiont; microbes; multimodal signalling; myrmecochory; niche construction; seed volatiles; sensory trap; yeasts
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Depositing User: Id for Latest eprints
Date Deposited: 14 Feb 2015 13:34
Last Modified: 14 Feb 2015 13:34
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/50811

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