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Is floral fragrance variation related to deceptive pollination in orchids?

Grant number: 16/17128-8
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): March 20, 2017
Effective date (End): March 19, 2018
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology
Principal Investigator:Marlies Sazima
Grantee:João Marcelo Robazzi Bignelli Valente Aguiar
Supervisor abroad: Martin Giurfa
Home Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : Université Paul Sabatier - Toulouse III, France  
Associated to the scholarship:15/05919-8 - Is floral trait polymorphism related to pollination in deceptive orchids?, BP.DR


Many cases of flower polymorphism have been described for orchid species pollinated trough generalized food deception. The high variability in floral cues in deceptive systems has been interpreted as a mechanism disrupting the avoidance learning of pollinators. Several studies have tried to understand the role of color polymorphism in food deception, but experimental studies focusing on how variation in floral fragrance acts on deceptive pollination are scarce. The honeybee Apis mellifera is a suitable model to address experimentally this problem due to the possibility of training and testing with olfactory stimuli under controlled laboratory conditions. Olfactory conditioning of the Proboscis Extension Response (PER) is an effective and robust form of Pavlovian conditioning in which bees learn to associate an odor and sucrose reward, and which helps to understand how bees perceive and discriminate odorants. Here we propose a series of behavioral experiments using olfactory PER conditioning to understand how variation of floral fragrance of the Brazilian deceptive orchid Ionopsis utricularioides, impacts olfactory learning, generalization and discrimination of bees. In this way, we will characterize the role of this floral odor variation in deceptive pollination.

Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
BIGNELLI VALENTE AGUIAR, JOAO MARCELO ROBAZZI; ROSELINO, ANA CAROLINA; SAZIMA, MARLIES; GIURFA, MARTIN. Can honey bees discriminate between floral-fragrance isomers?. Journal of Experimental Biology, v. 221, n. 14 JUL 2018. Web of Science Citations: 2.

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