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Strong conservation of floral scent composition in two allopatric yuccas

Publiceringsår: 2006
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 2657-2665
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Volym: 32
Nummer: 12
Dokumenttyp: Artikel i tidskrift
Förlag: Springer


Floral scent has been suggested to play a key role in the obligate pollination mutualism between yuccas and yucca moths. We analyzed floral fragrance compounds of Yucca elata with headspace collection followed by gas chromatography and mass spectrometry, and compared the odor blend with the recently characterized blend of the allopatric Yucca filamentosa. A principal component analysis based on 20 scent compounds revealed that the floral odor bouquets of Y. elata and Y. filamentosa are virtually identical. Although the two plants belong to the same section of capsular-fruited yuccas, they rely on different species of Tegeticula moths for pollination and probably have been allopatric for several million years. Yet, their floral odor blends are very similar, which may indicate that strong selection by obligate pollinators counteracts drift or divergence in this trait.


  • Zoology
  • Biological Sciences
  • geographic variation
  • Y. filamentosa
  • floral scent
  • Yucca elata
  • pollination mutualism


  • Chemical ecology of obligate pollination mutualisms
  • Pheromone Group
  • ISSN: 1573-1561

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