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Open AccessArticle

Floral Scent Variation in the Heterostylous Species Gelsemium sempervirens

Division of Math, Science, Nursing, and Public Health, University of South Carolina Lancaster, 476 Hubbard Drive, Lancaster, SC 29720, USA
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Molecules 2019, 24(15), 2818; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24152818
Received: 1 July 2019 / Revised: 30 July 2019 / Accepted: 1 August 2019 / Published: 2 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Chemical Biology)
Gelsemium sempervirens (L.) W.T. Aiton, a distylous woody vine of the family Gelsemiaceae, produces sweetly fragrant flowers that are known for the toxic alkaloids they contain. The composition of this plant’s floral scent has not previously been determined. In this study, the scent profiles of 74 flowers obtained from six different wild and cultivated populations of G. sempervirens were measured by solid phase microextraction-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (SPME-GC-MS). There were 81 volatile organic compounds identified and characterized as benzenoids, terpenoids, fatty acid derivatives, and yeast associated compounds. The most abundant compound was benzaldehyde (23–80%) followed by ethanol (0.9–17%), benzyl benzoate (2–15%), 4-anisaldehyde (2–11%), (Z)-α-ocimene (0–34%), and α-farnesene (0.1–16%). The impacts of geographic location, population type (wild or cultivated), and style morph (L = long, S = short) on scent profile were investigated. The results showed no relationship between geographic location or population type and volatile organic compounds (VOC) profile, but did show a significant scent profile difference between L and S morphs based on non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) using Bray-Curtis similarity indices. The L morphs contained higher amounts of benzenoids and the S morphs contained higher amounts of terpenoids in their scent profiles. The L morphs also produced a higher total abundance of scent compounds than the S morphs. This study represents the first floral scent determination of G. sempervirens finding significant variation in scent abundance and composition between style morphs. View Full-Text
Keywords: Gelsemium sempervirens; Gelsemiaceae; yellow jessamine; Carolina Jessamine; flower; heterostyly; floral scent; volatile organic compounds; VOCs; benzenoid; SPME-GC-MS Gelsemium sempervirens; Gelsemiaceae; yellow jessamine; Carolina Jessamine; flower; heterostyly; floral scent; volatile organic compounds; VOCs; benzenoid; SPME-GC-MS
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MDPI and ACS Style

Obi Johnson, B.; Golonka, A.M.; Blackwell, A.; Vazquez, I.; Wolfram, N. Floral Scent Variation in the Heterostylous Species Gelsemium sempervirens. Molecules 2019, 24, 2818.

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