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Headspace Volatile Composition of the Flowers of Caralluma europaea N.E.Br. (Apocynaceae)

  • Autori: Formisano, C.; Senatore, F.; Della Porta, G.; Scognamiglio, M.; Bruno, M.; Maggio, A.; Rosselli, S.; Zito, P.; Sajeva, M.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2009
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • Parole Chiave: Caralluma europaea; Apteranthes europaea; Diptera; pollination; sapromyiophily; volatiles
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The volatile constituents of the flowers of Caralluma (Apteranthes) europaea (Guss.) N.E. Br. (Apocynaceae - Asclepiadoideae) from Lampedusa Island were analyzed by headspace method. The analyses allowed the identification and quantification of 41 compounds. The main components were, among the monoterpenoids, terpinolene (23.3%), a-terpinene (19.1%) and linalool (18.4%), whereas, among the carbonylic compounds the major constituents were heptanal (2.0%), octanoic acid (2.4%) and hexanoic acid (1.7%). It is worth to mention the presence of a nitrogen containing compound, indole (0.8%) and of a sulphur containing compound, dimethylsulphide (t). The compounds found in the flowers of C. europea have been compared with data available in the literature as regard to their odor, presence in other sapromyiophilous taxa, possible role as semiochemicals, and presence in decaying organ matter. 89.3% of total constituents have been described in other sapromyiophilous taxa. Some of the compounds are present in several type of decaying organic matter (excrements, body in decomposition, and spoiled fish, etc). Several volatiles found in C. europea flowers are used as semiochemicals in Hymenoptera, Coleoptera, Diptera, Lepidoptera and other insects. Sixteen volatiles, accounting for 32.4% of the total constituents, are described as attractants of some Diptera families with a biology linked to decaying organic matters. Our data thus confirm that C. europea floral bouquet falls within the sapromyiophilous pollination syndrome.