Biology of Plant Volatiles  book cover
2nd Edition

Biology of Plant Volatiles

ISBN 9781138316492
Published June 4, 2020 by CRC Press
428 Pages 26 Color & 53 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Plant volatiles—compounds emitted from plant organs to interact with the surrounding environment—play essential roles in attracting pollinators and defending against herbivores and pathogenes, plant-plant signaling, and abiotic stress responses. Biology of Plant Volatiles, with contributions from leading international groups of distinguished scientists in the field, explores the major aspects of plant scent biology.

Responding to new developments in the detection of the complex compound structures of volatiles, this book details the composition and biosynthesis of plant volatiles and their mode of emission. It explains the function and significance of volatiles for plants as well as insects and microbes whose interactions with plants are affected by these compounds. The content also explores the biotechnological and commercial potential for the manipulation of plant volatiles.


  • Combines widely scattered literature in a single volume for the first time, covering all important aspects of plant volatiles, from their chemical structures to their biosynthesis to their roles in the interactions of plants with their biotic and abiotic environment
  • Takes an interdisciplinary approach, providing multilevel analysis from chemistry and genes to enzymology, cell biology, organismal biology and ecology
  • Includes up-to-date methodologies in plant scent biology research, from molecular biology and enzymology to functional genomics 

This book will be a touchstone for future research on the many applications of plant volatiles and is aimed at plant biologists, entomologists, evolutionary biologists and researchers in the horticulture and perfume industries.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Chemistry of plant volatiles 


1. Practical approaches to plant volatile collection and analysis 

Dorothea Tholl, Alexander Weinhold and Ursula Röse


2. Analysis of internal pools of plant volatiles 

Yoko Iijima, Naomi Okubo and Fukuyo Tanaka


3. Bioassay-guided semiochemical discovery in volatile-mediated specialized plant-pollinator interactions with a practical guide to fast-track progress 

Björn Bohman, Anna-Karin Borg-Karlson and Rod Peakall


4. The Chemical diversity of floral scent 

Jette T. Knudsen and Jonathan Gershenzon


5. Vegetative and fruit volatiles for human consumption 

Bhagwat Nawade, Mossab Yahyaa, Efraim Lewinsohn et al.


Part 2: Biochemistry, molecular biology, and evolution of plant volatiles 


6. The role of transcriptome analysis in shaping the discovery of plant volatile genes: past, present, and future 

Darren C.J. Wong, Rod Peakall and Eran Pichersky


7. Flux distribution dynamics at the interface of central carbon metabolism and terpenoid volatile formation 

Bernd Markus Lange


8. Floral scent metabolic pathways and their regulation 

Joseph H. Lynch, Eran Pichersky and Natalia Dudareva


9. Biosynthesis and regulation of vegetative plant volatiles 

Takao Koeduka, Koichi Sugimoto and Kenji Matsui


10. Biosynthesis and regulation of fruit volatiles 

José L. Rambla and Antonio Granell


11. Biosynthesis and regulation of below-ground signaling molecules 

Lemeng Dong and Harro Bouwmeester


12. Evolution of scent genes 

Sylvie Baudino, Philippe Hugueney and Jean-Claude Caissard


13. Volatiles in glands 

Eran Pichersky


14. Emission and perception of plant volatiles 

Itay Maoz, Pulu Sun, Michel A. Haring et al.


Part 3: Plant-plant, plant-insect and plant-microbial interactions 


15. Floral volatiles for pollinator attraction and speciation in sexually deceptive orchids 

Rod Peakall, Darren C. J. Wong, Björn Bohman et al.


16. Behavioral responses to floral scent: experimental manipulations and multimodal plant-pollinator communication 

Robert A. Raguso


17. Herbivore-induced plant volatiles as a source of information in plant-insect networks 

Marcel Dicke and Dani Lucas-Barbosa


18. Belowground plant volatiles: plant-plant, plant-herbivore and plant-microbial interactions 

Yifan Jiang, Dorothea Tholl and Feng Chen


19. Tree volatiles: effects of biotic and abiotic factors on emission and biological roles 

Erica Perreca, Jonathan Gershenzon and Franziska Eberl


Part 4: Commercial Aspects of Plant Volatiles 


20. Metabolic engineering of plant volatiles: floral scent, flavors, defense

Milan Plasmeijer, Pan Liao, Michel Haring et al.

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Eran Pichersky is the Michael M. Martin Collegiate Professor in the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (MCDB) at the University of Michigan. He received his B.Sc. degree from the University of California, Berkeley in 1980, and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis in 1984. After doing research as a post-doctoral fellow at the Rockefeller University in New York, he has been on the faculty of the University of Michigan since 1986, serving as the first Chair of the newly created MCDB Department from 2001-2003. His awards include a Fulbright fellowship and an Alexander von Humboldt fellowship, both received in 2000, and a Guggenheim fellowship in 2015. He was elected a Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2012 and by the American Society of Plant Biologists in 2017. Dr. Pichersky has served on the editorial boards of several major scientific journals that cover plant research, and had previously edited (together with Dr. Natalia Dudareva) a book on the Biology of Floral Scent published by CRC Press.

Dr. Pichersky’s research has concentrated on identifying the myriad compounds that are found uniquely in plants, many of which are extensively used by people, with emphasis on those that impart scent and flavor. His group further elucidates how plants synthesize these compounds, and how this information can be used to enhance the production by plants of such valuable chemicals. Over the years Dr. Pichersky’s research group has collaborated with many other research groups around the world, and Dr. Pichersky himself has spent extensive time as a visiting scholar doing research at scientific institutes around the world, including the United States, Germany, Israel and Australia. Dr. Pichersky has authored more than 250 reports, reviews, letters and editorials in scientific publications, and is a recipient of several patents.


Natalia Dudareva is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Biochemistry at Purdue University. She received her M.S. in biology and biochemistry from Novosibirsk State University, Russia and her PhD at the Institute of Biochemistry, Kiev, Ukraine and the University of Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, France. After a postdoctoral training at the University of Michigan, Dr. Dudareva joined the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Purdue University in 1997 and received a distinguished professorship in 2010. She joined the Department of Biochemistry in 2013. Research in the Dudareva laboratory focuses on understanding of biochemical and molecular mechanisms controlling the formation of primary and secondary (phenylpropanoid and terpenoid) metabolites in plants using the power of genetic and biochemical approaches combined with metabolic flux analysis and modeling. With initial focus on plant volatiles, her group not only identified many genes involved in the final steps of their biosynthesis but also discovered the primary metabolic networks that supply precursors for volatile formation. Her group also showed that active biological mechanisms are involved in transporting volatile compounds from plant cells to the atmosphere.

Dudareva has published 120 papers, 25 book chapters and 2 books, and has given more than 200 invited lectures at conferences and other universities. She has received recognition for her research as Purdue University Faculty Scholar and the Wickersham Chair of Excellence in Agricultural Research. She has been awarded the Purdue University Agricultural Research Award, Sigma Xi Faculty Research Award, the Alexander von Humboldt Research Award (Germany) and 2018 Herbert Newby McCoy Award, Purdue’s most prestigious award given for outstanding work in the natural sciences. In 2010 she was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.