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Abstract Detail

Physiological Section

Deakova, Timea [1].

Volatile Emissions in Polytrichum juniperinum: The role of VOCs in moss sexual systems.

Mosses are some of Earth’s most species rich, ancient, and stress-tolerant “ecosystem engineers”. Although traditionally lumped into one functional category, mosses are incredibly physiologically and chemically diverse; however, only 2% of mosses have been investigated chemically (out of 20,000 species). As the first land plants, the transition from growth in an aquatic system to an areal environment could have provided the time and selective pressure favoring the evolution of for the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in mosses. Despite their potential evolutionary and ecological significance, sex-specific VOC emissions are extremely poorly characterized within the mosses, creating a fundamental gap in our understanding of the chemical ecology of these ubiquitous plants. To bridge this gap, I have been investigating the relationship between VOC emissions and the evolution of sexual systems in the mosses. Here, we present results examining the sex-specific emission of the volatile hemiterpene isoprene in Polytrichum juniperinum, a ubiquitous early pioneer moss with separate sexes. It has been hypothesized that when sex in a dioecious species, such a P. juniperinum, is mate-limited the non-limiting sex will produce the greatest abundance of reproductive scents. If this theory extends to mosses, then females should produce a larger diversity (or abundance) of VOCs. Indeed, here we report strong sex-specific variation in isoprene emission in P. juniperinum, with many females, but very few males emitting the volatile hemiterpene isoprene. Further, my preliminary studies suggest strong tissue specific patterns of isoprene production, with undifferentiated sex organs of P. juniperinum having the highest observed rate of isoprene emission, up to 23 nmol g-1 s-1, with overall emission rates decreasing during gametangia (sex organ) expression. In addition, I will present additional results showing the sex-specific variation we have observed in overall VOC emissions within P. juniperinum using comprehensive GCxGC TOF-MS. Finally, I will discuss our sex-specific VOC emission results in the context of observed physiological, reproductive, and life history characteristics of this ubiquitous moss species.

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1 - Portland State University, 1719 SW 10th Ave. SRTC Room 246, Portland, OR, 97201, United States

sexual systems
Volatile emissions (VOC)
Polytrichum juniperinum.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Hall D/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2015
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PPS009
Abstract ID:1238
Candidate for Awards:Physiological Section Best poster presentation

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