Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 32, Issue 11, pp 2429–2441 | Cite as

Floral Phenylpropanoid Cocktail and Architecture of Bulbophyllum vinaceum Orchid in Attracting Fruit Flies for Pollination

Article

Abstract

It is widely believed that most orchid flowers attract insects by using deception or chemical rewards in the form of nectar. Flowers of Bulbophyllum vinaceum produce a large array of phenylpropanoids that lure tephritid fruit fly males and also act as floral reward, which the flies subsequently convert to pheromone components. The major floral volatile components identified are methyl eugenol (ME), trans-coniferyl alcohol (CF), 2-allyl-4,5-dimethoxphenol (DMP), and trans-3,4-dimethoxycinnamyl acetate, whereas the minor components are eugenol, euasarone, trans-3,4-dimethoxy cinnamyl alcohol, and cis-coniferyl alcohol. Among the various floral parts, the lip (which is held in a closed position up against the sexual organs) has the highest concentration of the major compounds. An attracted male fly normally lands on one of the petals before climbing up onto and forcing the “spring loaded” floral lip into the open position, hence exposing the floral sexual organs. The architecture and location of chemical attractants of the lip compel the fly to align itself along the lip’s longitudinal axis in a precise manner. As the fly laps up the compounds and moves towards the base of the lip, it passes the point of imbalance causing the lip to spring back to its normal closed position. The fly is catapulted headfirst into the column cavity, and its dorsum strikes the protruding sticky base of the hamulus and adheres to it. The momentum of the fly and the structural morphology of the long stiff hamulus act to pry out the pollinia from its anther cover. Hence, the pollinarium (pollinia + hamulus) is detached from the flower and adhered to the fly’s dorsum. In this unique mutualistic association, both species receive direct reproductive benefits—the flower’s pollinarium is transported for cross pollination, and the fly is offered a bouquet of phenylpropanoids (synomone) that it consumes, converts, and/or sequesters as sex pheromonal components, thus enhancing sexual attraction and mating success.

Keywords

Bulbophyllum vinaceum Orchidaceae Phenylpropanoids Fruit fly Bactrocera dorsalis B. unimacula Tephritidae Synomone Sex pheromone Pollination Dynamic lip mechanism 

References

  1. Khoo, C. C. H., Yuen, K.-H., and Tan, K. H. 2000. Attraction of female Bactrocera papayae to sex pheromone components with two different release devices. J. Chem. Ecol. 26:2487–2496.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Naeole, C. K. M. and Haymer, D. S. 2003. Use of oligonucleotide arrays for molecular taxonomic studies of closely related species in the oriental fruit fly (Bactrocera dorsalis) complex. Mol. Ecol. Notes 3:662–665.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Nishida, R., Tan, K. H., Serit, M., Lajis, N. H., Sukari, A. M., Takahashi, S., and Fukami, H. 1988. Accumulation of phenylpropanoids in the rectal glands of male oriental fruit fly, Dacus dorsalis. Experientia 44:534–536.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Nishida, R., Shelly, T. E., and Kaneshiro, K. Y. 1997. Acquisition of female-attracting fragrance from a Hawaiian lei flower, Fagraea berteriana, by males of the oriental fruit fly. J. Chem. Ecol. 23:2275–2285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Nishida, R., Tan, K. H., Wee, S. L., Hee, A. K. W., and Toong, Y. C. 2004. Phenylpropanoids in the fragrance of the fruit fly orchid, Bulbophyllum cheiri, and their relationship to the pollinator, Bactrocera papayae. Biochem. Syst. Ecol. 32:245–252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Rasmussen, F. N. 1985. The gynostemium of Bulbophyllum ecornutum (J. J. Smith) J. J. Smith (Orchidaceae). Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 91:447–456.Google Scholar
  7. Ridley, H. N. 1890. On the method of fertilization in Bulbophyllum macranthum, and allied orchids. Ann. Bot. 4:327–336.Google Scholar
  8. Symthe, R. 1969. An observation on the pollination of Bulbophyllum baileyi. Orchadian 3:61.Google Scholar
  9. Tan, K. H. 2000. Behaviour and chemical ecology of Bactrocera flies, pp. 647–656, in K. H. Tan (ed.). Area-Wide Control of Fruit Flies and Other Insect Pests. Penerbit USM, Penang.Google Scholar
  10. Tan, K. H. 2003. Interbreeding and DNA analysis of sibling species within the Bactrocera dorsalis complex, pp. 113–122, in Recent Trends on Sterile Insect Technique and Area-Wide Integrated Pest Management, Economic Feasibility, Control Projects, Farmer Organization and Bactrocera dorsalis Complex Control Study. Research Institute for Subtropics, Japan.Google Scholar
  11. Tan, K. H. and Lee, S. L. 1982. Species diversity and abundance of Dacus (Diptera: Tephritidae) in five ecosystems of Penang, West Malaysia. Bull. Entomol. Res. 72:709–716.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Tan, K. H. and Nishida, R. 1995. Incorporation of raspberry ketone in the male rectal glands of the Queensland fruit fly, Bactrocera tryoni Froggatt (Diptera: Tephritidae). Appl. Entomol. Zool. 30:494–497.Google Scholar
  13. Tan, K. H. and Nishida, R. 1998. Ecological significance of male attractant in the defense and mating strategies of the fruit fly Bactrocera papayae. Entomol. Exp. Appl. 89:155–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Tan, K. H. and Nishida, R. 2000. Mutual reproductive benefits between a wild orchid, Bulbophyllum patens, and Bactrocera fruit flies via a floral synomone. J. Chem. Ecol. 26:533–546.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Tan, K. H. and Nishida, R. 2005. Synomone or kairomone?—Bulbophyllum apertum (Orchidaceae) flower releases raspberry ketone to attract Bactrocera fruit flies. J. Chem. Ecol. 31:509–519.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Tan, K. H., Nishida, R. and Toong, Y. C. 2002. Floral synomone of a wild orchid, Bulbophyllum cheiri, lures Bactrocera fruit flies for pollination. J. Chem. Ecol. 28:1161–1172.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Vermeulen, J. J. 1991. Orchids of Borneo. Vol. 2—Bulbophyllum. Bentham–Moxon Trust, Toihaan Publishing Co. and The Sabah Society, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia, p 342.Google Scholar
  18. Wee, S. L. and Tan, K. H. 2005. Evidence of natural hybridization between two sympatric sibling species of Bactrocera dorsalis complex based on pheromone analysis. J. Chem. Ecol. 31:845–858.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tan Hak Heng Co.PenangMalaysia
  2. 2.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversity College LondonLondonUK
  3. 3.Laboratory of Chemical Ecology, Graduate School of AgricultureKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

Personalised recommendations