Skip to main content
Log in

trans-2-Nonenal insect repellent, insecticide, and flavor compound in carrot roots, cell suspensions, and “hairy” root cultures

  • Published:
Journal of Chemical Ecology Aims and scope Submit manuscript


Astrans-2-nonenal (T2N) acts as an insect repellent, an insecticide, and a flavor compound, it would be desirable to manipulate its concentration in plants. Simple, rapid, and accurate trapping on cartridges of activated charcoal detected T2N in headspace over carrot roots and regenerants. Concentrations ranged from 0.07 to 0.43 ppm total volatiles over the homogenized roots of a range of European carrot cultivars with the following statistically significant differences: Long Chantenay > Sytan > Vertou > Touchon Prima. This suggests that the expression of T2N is determined genetically. Given the potential for genetic manipulation byin vitro techniques, the release of T2N and other terpenoids was monitored in carrot cell suspensions and in “hairy” root cultures of cv. Gelbe Rheinische. T2N concentrations were 6.23 ppm and 0.005 ppm, respectively, as compared with 0.15 ppm over the homogenized root of the same cultivar. Two terpenoids additional to T2N were detected from cell suspension cultures as compared with 14 from “hairy” root cultures. The ready detection in regenerants of this significant aldehyde indicates that its presence could be monitored in derivatives of otherin vitro manipulations.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others


  • Alabran, D.M., Moskovitz, H.R., andMabrouk, F. 1975. Carrot root oil components and their dimensional characterisation of aroma.J. Agric. Food Chem. 23:229–232.

    Google Scholar 

  • Awde, J. 1988. Naturally occurring compounds and analogues as prototype insecticides and flukicides. PhD thesis. National University of Ireland, Dublin.

    Google Scholar 

  • Buttery, R.G., Seifert, R.M., Guadagni, D.G., Black, D.R., andLing, L.C. 1968. Characterisation of some volatile constituents of carrots.J. Agric. Food Chem. 16:1009–1015.

    Google Scholar 

  • Charlewood, B.V., Brown, J.T., Moustan, C., andCharlewood, K.A. 1988. Pelagoniums: Flavours, fragrances and the new technology.Plants Today. 1:42–46.

    Google Scholar 

  • Clarke, R.G., andCronin, D.A. 1975. The use of activated charcoal for the concentration and analysis of headspace vapours containing food aroma volatiles.J. Sci. Food Agric. 26:1615–1624.

    Google Scholar 

  • Forss, A., Dunstone, A.R., Ranshaw, E.H., andStark, K.W. 1962. The flavour of cucumbers.J. Food Sci. 27:90–93.

    Google Scholar 

  • Galliard, T., Phillips, D.R., andReynolds, J. 1976 The formation of cis-3-nonenal,trans-2-nonenal and hexanal from linoleic acid hydroperoxide isomers by a hydroperoxide cleavage enzyme system in cucumber (Cucumis sativus) fruits.Biochim. Biophys. Acta 441:181–192.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Guerin, P.M., andRyan, M.F. 1980. Insecticidal effect of trans-2-nonenal, a constituent of carrot root.Experientia 36:1387–1388.

    Google Scholar 

  • Heatherbell, D.A., andWrolstad, R.E. 1971. Carrot volatiles. 1. Characterisation and effects of canning and freeze drying.J. Food Sci. 36:219–224.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kamada, H., Okamura, N., Motoyoshi, S., Harada, H., andShimomura, K. 1986. Alkaloid production by “hairy” root cultures inAtropa belladonna.Plant Cell Rep. 5:239–242.

    Google Scholar 

  • Leemans, J., Deblaere, R., Willmitzer, L., De Greve, H., Hernalsteens, J.P., Van Montague, M., andSchell, J. 1982. Genetic identification of functions of T1-DNA transcripts in octopine crown galls.EMBO J. 1:147–152.

    Google Scholar 

  • Maki, A., andRyan, M.F. 1989. Root-mediated effects in carrot resistance to the carrot fly,Psila rosae.J. Chem. Ecol. 15:1867–1882.

    Google Scholar 

  • Murashige, T., andSkoog, F. 1962. A revised medium for rapid growth and bioassays with tobacco tissue cultures.Physiol. Pl. 15:473–497.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rhodes, M.J.C., Hilton, M., Parr, A.J., Hamill, J.D., andRobins, R.J. 1986. Nicotine proauction by “hairy” root cultures ofNicotiana rustica: fermentation and product recovery.Biotech. Lett. 8:415–420.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ryan, M.F., andByrne, O. 1988. Plant-insect coevolution and inhibition of acetylcholinesterase.J. Chem. Ecol. 14:1965–1975.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ryan, M.F., andGuerin, P.M. 1982. Behavioural responses of the carrot fly larva,Psila rosae, to carrot root volatiles.Physiol. Entomol. 7:315–324.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ryan, M.F., Guerin, P.M., andBehan, M. 1978. Possible roles for naturally occurring chemicals in the biological control of the carrot fly, pp. 130–153in J.J. Duggan (ed.). Biological Control Symposium of the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin.

    Google Scholar 

  • Scriven, R., andMeloan, C.E. 1984. (E,Z)-2,6-Nonadien-1-al and (E)-2-nonen-1-al present in crushed cucumbers are natural repellents for the American cockroach (Periplaneta americana).Ohio J. Sci. 84:82–85.

    Google Scholar 

  • Taha, H.A. 1987. Studies ontrans-2-nonen-1-al and trans-2,cis-6, nonadien-1-al as naturally occurring insecticides. PhD thesis. National University of Ireland, Dublin.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wilson, G. 1988. Growing compounds from plants.Technol. Ireland 20:20–24.

    Google Scholar 

  • Zieg, R.G., Zito, S.W., andStaba, E.J. 1983. Selection of pyrethrin producing tissue cultures.Planta Med. 48:88–91.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Chamberlain, D.A., Wilson, G. & Ryan, M.F. trans-2-Nonenal insect repellent, insecticide, and flavor compound in carrot roots, cell suspensions, and “hairy” root cultures. J Chem Ecol 17, 615–624 (1991).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Key words