Orchidaceae is a flowering plant family worldwide distributed known for producing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which can act as olfactory signals for pollinators. Despite the importance of VOCs in the different reproductive strategies, in the literature there are only a few publications on the characterization of orchids’ volatile profiles. In this study, the essential oils from fresh inflorescences of sympatric orchids Anacamptis morio, Himantoglossum robertianum, Ophrys sphegodes and Orchis purpurea, naturally growing in Piedmont (Italy) were isolated by steam distillation and characterized by GC/FID and GC/MS. A number of compounds were identified, with a peculiar distribution in the species: alcohols (range 16.93–50.60%), from which p-cresol (range 12.75–38.10%) was the most representative compound; saturated hydrocarbons (range 5.81–59.29%), represented by pentacosane (range 2.22–40.17%) and tricosane (range 0.78–27.48%); long-chain monounsaturated hydrocarbons (range 0.29–5.20%) represented by 9-pentacosene, 11-tricosene, and 1-heneicosene. The structure of positional isomers in linear alkenes was elucidated by derivatization with dimethyl disulfide and MS fragmentation patterns. Coumarin (68.84%) was the dominant compound in O. purpurea and was detected in lower concentrations (range 0.21–0.26%) in the other taxa. These volatile compounds may represent a particular feature of these plant species and play an essential role in pollinator interaction.

Chemical Composition of Essential Oil from Four Sympatric Orchids in NW-Italy

Cortis, Pierluigi
Secondo
;
De Agostini, Antonio;Sanna, Cinzia
Ultimo
2022-01-01

Abstract

Orchidaceae is a flowering plant family worldwide distributed known for producing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which can act as olfactory signals for pollinators. Despite the importance of VOCs in the different reproductive strategies, in the literature there are only a few publications on the characterization of orchids’ volatile profiles. In this study, the essential oils from fresh inflorescences of sympatric orchids Anacamptis morio, Himantoglossum robertianum, Ophrys sphegodes and Orchis purpurea, naturally growing in Piedmont (Italy) were isolated by steam distillation and characterized by GC/FID and GC/MS. A number of compounds were identified, with a peculiar distribution in the species: alcohols (range 16.93–50.60%), from which p-cresol (range 12.75–38.10%) was the most representative compound; saturated hydrocarbons (range 5.81–59.29%), represented by pentacosane (range 2.22–40.17%) and tricosane (range 0.78–27.48%); long-chain monounsaturated hydrocarbons (range 0.29–5.20%) represented by 9-pentacosene, 11-tricosene, and 1-heneicosene. The structure of positional isomers in linear alkenes was elucidated by derivatization with dimethyl disulfide and MS fragmentation patterns. Coumarin (68.84%) was the dominant compound in O. purpurea and was detected in lower concentrations (range 0.21–0.26%) in the other taxa. These volatile compounds may represent a particular feature of these plant species and play an essential role in pollinator interaction.
Anacamptis morio; Himantoglossum robertianum; Ophrys sphegodes; Orchis purpurea; Essentia oil; Alkenes; Coumarin; p-cresol; Pollinators
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/331167
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