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Hydrocarbons mediate seed dispersal: a new mechanism of vespicochory
Chen, Gao1,2; Wang, Zheng-Wei3; Wen, Ping3; Wei, Wei4; Chen, Ya5; Ai, Hui5; Sun, Wei-Bang1,2
Source PublicationNEW PHYTOLOGIST

Vespicochory, seed dispersal by hornets, is an uncommon seed dispersal pattern in angiosperms. To date, this phenomenon has been recorded in only four families. Because of its rarity, the causes and consequences of vespicochory remain unclear. Hence, this seed dispersal syndrome is often regarded as anecdotal. Through field investigations, chemical analyses, electrophysiological tests, identification of chemosensory proteins from the antennae of hornets, and behavioral assays, we investigated whether olfactory and/or visual cues of the diaspores of Stemona tuberosa mediate the behavior of the social hornets and maintain their mutualism. This study demonstrated that the elaiosome of S. tuberosa emits hydrocarbons, which are attractive to hornets. However, these compounds, which induce responses in the antennae of naive hornets, are ubiquitous substances on insect cuticle surfaces. Innate preference and experienced foraging behavior of hornets can increase their seed dispersal efficiency. This is the first example in which hydrocarbons have been identified as a diaspore odour involved in the attraction of hornets. Given that the ubiquity of hornets, and the communication function of hydrocarbons in insects, we predict that this rare seed dispersal mechanism may be an overlooked mechanism of insect-plant mutualism.

KeywordElaiosome Myrmecochory Seed Dispersal Stemona Vespa Vespicochory
WOS Research AreaPlant Sciences
WOS SubjectPlant Sciences
WOS IDWOS:000447417300009
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Cited Times:5[WOS]   [WOS Record]     [Related Records in WOS]
Document Type期刊论文
Corresponding AuthorChen, Gao; Ai, Hui; Sun, Wei-Bang
Affiliation1.Yunnan Key Lab Integrat Conservat Plant Species E, Kunming 650204, Yunnan, Peoples R China
2.Chinese Acad Sci, Kunming Inst Bot, Key Lab Plant Div & Biogeog East Asia, Kunming 650204, Yunnan, Peoples R China
3.Chinese Acad Sci, Key Lab Trop Forest Ecol, Xishuangbanna Trop Bot Garden, Chem Ecol Grp, Kunming 650204, Yunnan, Peoples R China
4.Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Zool, State Key Lab Integrated Management Pest Insects, Beijing 100101, Peoples R China
5.Cent China Normal Univ, Sch Life Sci, Hubei Key Lab Genet Regulat & Integrat Biol, Wuhan 430079, Hubei, Peoples R China
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
Chen, Gao,Wang, Zheng-Wei,Wen, Ping,et al. Hydrocarbons mediate seed dispersal: a new mechanism of vespicochory[J]. NEW PHYTOLOGIST,2018,220(3):714-725.
APA Chen, Gao.,Wang, Zheng-Wei.,Wen, Ping.,Wei, Wei.,Chen, Ya.,...&Sun, Wei-Bang.(2018).Hydrocarbons mediate seed dispersal: a new mechanism of vespicochory.NEW PHYTOLOGIST,220(3),714-725.
MLA Chen, Gao,et al."Hydrocarbons mediate seed dispersal: a new mechanism of vespicochory".NEW PHYTOLOGIST 220.3(2018):714-725.
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