Plant and Soil

, Volume 407, Issue 1–2, pp 275–278 | Cite as

Plant olfaction: using analytical chemistry to elucidate mechanisms of plant growth and interaction

  • Jeffrey D. Weidenhamer


Background and Scope

Growing evidence suggests that volatile organic compounds (VOCs) play important roles in plant-plant, plant-microbe and plant-environment interactions. Demonstrating such mechanisms requires the use of innovative analytical techniques to monitor VOCs in and above soils. In this issue, Waters et al. provide experimental evidence that stolons of the woodland strawberry, Fragaria vesca, forage for nutrient-rich soil patches by a chemotropic mechanism.


These experimental results not only help clarify the means by which this clonal plant locates nutrients in a heterogeneous environment, but also demonstrate the power of using the tools of modern analytical chemistry to elucidate plant-plant and plant-environment interactions.


Clonal plants Nutrient foraging Passive sampling Plant-plant interactions Rhizosphere Volatile organic compounds 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemistry, Geology & PhysicsAshland UniversityAshlandUSA

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