Plants release airborne chemicals that can convey ecologically relevant information to other organisms. These plant volatiles are known to mediate a large array of, often complex, interactions between plants and insects. It has been suggested that plant volatiles may have similar importance in mediating interactions among plant species, but there are few well-documented examples of plant-to-plant communication via volatiles, and the ecological significance of such interactions has been much debated. To date, nearly all studies of volatile-mediated interactions among plant species have focused on the reception of herbivore-induced volatiles by neighboring plants. We recently documented volatile effects in another system, demonstrating that the parasitic plant Cuscuta pentagona uses volatile cues to locate its hosts. This finding may broaden the discussion regarding plant-to-plant communication, and suggests that new classes of volatile-meditated interactions among plant species await discovery.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science