Abstract: 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
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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.
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(11):4597-4613.
Formisano, Carmen; Senatore, Felice; Della Porta, Giovanna; Scognamiglio, Mariarosa; Bruno, Maurizio; Maggio, Antonella; Rosselli, Sergio; Zito, Pietro; Sajeva, Maurizio. 2009. "Headspace Volatile Composition of the Flowers of Caralluma europaea N.E.Br. (Apocynaceae)." Molecules 14, no. 11: 4597-4613.