Volatiles of the inflorescences of the Madeiran orchids, Goodyera macrophylla Lowe and Gennaria diphylla (Link) Parl. and their role in pollination

Francisco M. Fernandes, A. Cristina Figueiredo, Jose G. Barroso, Luis G. Pedro, Christopher C. Wilcock, Miguel A. A. Pinheiro de Carvalho

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Goodyera macrophylla, considered a rare endemic, and Gennaria diphylla are two native terrestrial Orchidaceae species that can be found mainly in Madeiran Laurisilva. The volatile compounds contributing to the floral scent of these two Madeiran orchids were analysed and compared for the first time. The volatiles, isolated by distillation -extraction in a Likens-Nickersontype apparatus, and those extracted by headspace sorption, were analysed by GC and GC-MS. The main volatile components isolated by distillation -extraction were y-terpinene (13%) and n-nonanal (11%) in G. macrophylla and n-octacosane (19%) and n - heptacosane (13 %) in G. diphylla. The main volatile components isolated by headspace sorption were p-cymene (2 1%), ot-pinene (15%) and linalool (14%) in G. macrophylla and cis-arbusculone (28%) and lilac alcohol (26%) in G. diphylla. The importance of the volatiles in the pollination of these orchids is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-433
Number of pages7
JournalNatural Product Communications
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • Goodyera macrophylla Lowe
  • Gennaria diphylla (Link) Parl
  • Orchidaceae
  • pollination
  • volatiles
  • distillation-extraction
  • headspace sorption
  • GC
  • GC-MS
  • sexually deceptive orchid
  • floral scents
  • ophrys-sphegodes
  • flower scent
  • evolution
  • fragrances
  • biology

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