Early attempts to detect VOCs emission from Olea europaea L.(Lamiales: Oleaceae) in different phenological growth stages


Abstract: The literature concerning the volatile fraction of olive leaves, fruits and fatty oil ofOlea europaea L. is quite substantial. Nevertheless, to date there is still scarce knowledge of thebiogenic emissions from olive trees, nor sufficient investigations on the possible correlation ofplant emissions with phenological growth stages.We report the original results of VOCs detection from whole olive trees (Olea europaea L.).Spherical glass chambers were specifically designed and manufactured to collect volatilesemission from the whole, living trees (air entrainment, “push-pull” system). The extracts elutedfrom the traps were then analysed via GC and GC-MS. All entrainments were carried out in asemi-opened green-house to better simulate natural light and temperature conditions.An early comparison of the volatile organic compounds emitted from plants in differentphenological stages (vegetative and fruiting stage) was performed. Comparing the headspacescomposition of fruiting and not fruiting trees it was noticeable that the VOCs emissions werequalitatively similar, but the presence of fully grown fruits on plants remarkably increased therelease of terpenes.The method appears to be functional for a true detection of biogenic compounds from wholeolive trees and to clearly display the variations of VOCs emission between different phenologicalstages of Olea europaea L. This approach could be effective to better clarify natural occurrenceand the ecological role of host allelochemicals.

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