Floral scent and pollination of greenhouse tomatoes

Thumbnail Image
Morse, Andrew
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Guelph

In this floral scent of greenhouse tomato was examined. Neutral red staining was used to identify osmophores on tomato flowers and dynamic headspace analysis was used to identify the volatiles released by the flowers. Tomato flowers produced [beta]-phellandrene, 2-carene, [alpha]-pinene and p-cymene mostly from their petal and another tips. Bumble bees, the main pollinators of greenhouse tomato, seemed to be repelled by the floral scent of tomato flowers. Two cultivars of greenhouse tomato (Bigdena and Clarance) were examined for production of floral scent and pollination success. In addition, the effect of growth condition on floral scent and pollination success was investigated. Results indicated that bumble bees visited tomato flowers that produced less scent more frequently than flowers that were heavily scented. Bigdena and Clarance differed in their production of floral scent. Growth conditions could be manipulated in order to reduce floral scent and thus make tomato flowers more appealing to bumble bees.

greenhouse tomatoes, floral scent, pollination, bumble bees, tomato flowers