Tissue specificity of (E) -β - farnesene and germacrene D accumulation in pyrethrum flowers

Jinjin Li, Hao Hu, Yu Chen, Jing Xie, Jiawen Li, Tuo Zeng, Manqun Wang, Jing Luo, Riru Zheng, M.A. Jongsma*, Caiyun Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Plant defensive mimicry based on the aphid alarm pheromone (E)-β-farnesene (EβF) was previously shown to operate in Tanacetum cinerariifolium (Asteraceae) flowers. Germacrene D (GD), is another dominant volatile of T. cinerariifolium flowers and may modulate both defense and pollination. Here, we find that the increase in GD/EβF ratio at later developmental stages is correlated with the tissue distribution in the flower head: the total content of EβF and GD is similar, but GD accumulates comparatively more in the upper disk florets. Naphthol and N, N-dimethyl-p-phenylenediamine dihydrochloride (NADI)-stained purple ducts containing EβF and GD, were observed in the five petal lips of the corolla and two-lobed stigma of disk florets. By contrast in the peduncle, EβF accounts for nearly 80% of total terpenes, compared to 5% for GD. EβF is accumulated inside inner cortex cells and parenchyma cells of the pith in young peduncle. This is followed by the formation of terpene-filled axial secretory cavities parallel to the vascular bundles. In conclusion, the observed developmental and diurnal emissions of different EβF/GD ratios appear to be regulated by their tissue distribution
Original languageEnglish
Article number112768
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


  • (E)-β-farnesene
  • Asteraceae
  • Germacrene D
  • NADI staining
  • Pyrethrum
  • Secretory duct
  • Tanacetum cinerariifolium
  • Terpenes


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