Natalia Wiśniewska, Monika M. Lipińska, Marek Gołębiowski & Agnieszka K. Kowalkowska
Photos by the authors
Abstract: This micromorphological, chemical and ultrastructural study is a continuation of research conducted on the section Lepidorhiza. The Bulbophyllum echinolabium flowers comprised features that characterize a sapromyophilous syndrome, having large, glistening parts that emit an intense scent of rotten meat. The secretory activity was described in the hypochile (nectary in longitudinal groove and in the prickles) and the epichile (putative osmophore). The ultrastructural studies revealed a dense cytoplasm in the epidermis and subepidermal tissue with large nuclei and numerous mitochondria, the profiles of SER and RER, and dictyosomes. Large amounts of heterogeneous residues of secreted material (possibly phenolic) were present on the cuticle surface, similar to the unusual prominent periplasmic space with flocculent secretory material. The chemical analysis (GC/MS) of the scent profile of lips comprised carbohydrates and their derivatives (29.55% of all compounds), amino acids (1.66%), lipids (8.04%) and other organic compounds (60.73%). A great number of identified compounds are Diptera attractants (mainly Milichiidae, Tephritidae, Drosophilidae, Muscidae, Sarcophagidae, Tachinidae). The examination of visual and olfactory features indicates correlation between colour of flowers and the type of olfactory mimicry, where a dark colour labellum emits strong smell of rotten waste.
Published in Protoplasma (2019): 1 - 19