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Molecules 2009, 14(11), 4597-4613; doi:10.3390/molecules14114597

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

1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 4 and 4,*
1 Dipartimento di Chimica delle Sostanze Naturali, Università degli Studi di Napoli “Federico II”, Via D. Montesano, 49, I-80131 Napoli, Italy 2 Dipartimento di Ingegneria Chimica ed Alimentare, Università degli Studi di Salerno,Via Ponte Don Melillo, 84084 Fisciano (SA) Italy 3 Dipartimento di Chimica Organica, Università degli Studi di Palermo, Viale delle Scienze, Parco d’Orleans II, I-90128 Palermo, Italy 4 Dipartimento di Scienze Botaniche dell’Università di Palermo, Via Archirafi 38, I-90123 Palermo, Italy
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 October 2009 / Revised: 7 November 2009 / Accepted: 10 November 2009 / Published: 11 November 2009
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The volatile constituents of the flowers of Caralluma europaea (Guss.) N.E.Br (Apocynaceae) from Lampedusa Island were analyzed by a headspace GC method. The analyses allowed the identification and quantification of 41 compounds. The main components were, among the monoterpenoids, terpinolene (23.3%), α-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%). The presence of a nitrogen containing compound, indole (0.8%) and of a sulphur containing compound, dimethylsulphide (t), noteworthy. The compounds found in the flowers of C. europaea 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 organic matter. 89.3% of total constituents have been described in other sapromyiophilous taxa. Some of the compounds are present in several types of decaying organic matter (excrements, decomposing bodies, and spoiled fish, etc). Several volatiles found in C. europaea flowers are used as semiochemicals by 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 matter. Our data thus confirm that C. europaea floral bouquet falls within the sapromyiophilous pollination syndrome.
Keywords: Caralluma europaea; Apteranthes europaea; Diptera; pollination; sapromyiophily; volatiles Caralluma europaea; Apteranthes europaea; Diptera; pollination; sapromyiophily; volatiles
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Formisano, C.; Senatore, F.; Della Porta, G.; Scognamiglio, M.; Bruno, M.; Maggio, A.; Rosselli, S.; Zito, P.; Sajeva, M. Headspace Volatile Composition of the Flowers of Caralluma europaea N.E.Br. (Apocynaceae). Molecules 2009, 14, 4597-4613.

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