Title

Role of Major Pollen Scent Compound a-farnesene in Host-Flower Recognition by Pollen-Specialist Bee Chelostoma florisomne

Presenter

Kristin Nesbit

Abstract

The pollen-specialist solitary bee ,Chelostoma florisomne collects pollen exclusively from buttercups, and previous research shows that the color yellow and specific floral scent chemicals are necessary for host-flower recognition. My goal was to determine the relative attractiveness of a major pollen volatile a-farnesene. Female bees were offered a choice of two scents under yellow cheesecloth, one with and one without a farnesene solution; both samples had 2-6 non-host flowers for floral background scent (previous experiments used 6 flowers). Host-flower recognition was recorded, based on landings (attraction) and feeding attempts (full recognition). Results suggest that farnesene elicits attraction and feeding attempts in bees, but it is dose-dependent; when 2 flowers were used as background floral scent, farnesene acted as a repellent, but when 6 flowers were used, farnesene became an attractant. This shows the complexity of floral scent in insect-flower interactions, and the challenge of conducting chemical ecological studies.

Faculty Sponsor

Heidi Dobson

Sponsor Department/Programs

Biology

Tracks

Poster Session

Terms of Use

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Location

Cordiner Hall

Presentation Type

Poster

Research Funding Source or OCS Program

Perry Summer Research Award

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Role of Major Pollen Scent Compound a-farnesene in Host-Flower Recognition by Pollen-Specialist Bee Chelostoma florisomne

Cordiner Hall

The pollen-specialist solitary bee ,Chelostoma florisomne collects pollen exclusively from buttercups, and previous research shows that the color yellow and specific floral scent chemicals are necessary for host-flower recognition. My goal was to determine the relative attractiveness of a major pollen volatile a-farnesene. Female bees were offered a choice of two scents under yellow cheesecloth, one with and one without a farnesene solution; both samples had 2-6 non-host flowers for floral background scent (previous experiments used 6 flowers). Host-flower recognition was recorded, based on landings (attraction) and feeding attempts (full recognition). Results suggest that farnesene elicits attraction and feeding attempts in bees, but it is dose-dependent; when 2 flowers were used as background floral scent, farnesene acted as a repellent, but when 6 flowers were used, farnesene became an attractant. This shows the complexity of floral scent in insect-flower interactions, and the challenge of conducting chemical ecological studies.

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