Postpollination Changes in Floral Odor in Silene latifolia: Adaptive Mechanisms for Seed-Predator Avoidance?
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Floral odor is a key trait for pollinator attraction in many plants, but may also direct antagonists like herbivores to flowers. In this study, we examined how floral scent changes after pollination in Silene latifolia, which has a specialized relationship with the seed predator Hadena bicruris. We found an overall decrease in total scent emission and considerable changes in relative amounts of scent compounds after pollination. Lilac aldehydes A and B as well as veratrole contributed most to the decrease in scent emission. These three compounds are known to be key signals for the attraction of H. bicruris to the flowers. A specific downregulation of these compounds may increase the reproductive success of the plant by reducing seed predation after pollination.