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Review article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

The volatile chemistry of orchid pollination

Perkins, James; Hayashi, Tobias; Peakall, Rod; Flematti, Gavin R.; Bohman, Bjoern


Covering: up to September 2022 Orchids are renowned not only for their diversity of floral forms, but also for their many and often highly specialised pollination strategies. Volatile semiochemicals play a crucial role in the attraction of a wide variety of insect pollinators of orchids. The compounds produced by orchid flowers are as diverse as the pollinators they attract, and here we summarise some of the chemical diversity found across orchid taxa and pollination strategies. We focus on compounds that have been experimentally demonstrated to underpin pollinator attraction. We also highlight the structural elucidation and synthesis of a select subset of important orchid pollinator attractants, and discuss the ecological significance of the discoveries, the gaps in our current knowledge of orchid pollination chemistry, and some opportunities for future research in this field.

Published in

Natural Product Reports
2023, Volume: 40, number: 4, pages: 819-839

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

    Publication Identifiers


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