Secondary Metabolites: Attracting Pollinators


When insects, bats, birds and other animals visit flowers to feed on the nectar and pollen, they usually pollinate the flowers in the process, so that both partners benefit from this mutualistic association. Secondary metabolites are involved primarily to provide either visual or olfactory attraction in terms of flower colour and flower scent. They may also be present in the nectar and pollen to interact with certain visitors.

Keywords: plant pollination; flower scent; flower pigments


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Further Reading

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Harborne JB (1993) Introduction to Ecological Biochemistry, 4th edn. London: Academic Press.

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Real L (ed.) (1983) Pollination Biology. Orlando, FL: Academic Press.

Stanley G and Linskens HF (1979) Pollen: Biology, Biochemistry and Management. Berlin: Springer‐Verlag.

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Harborne, Jeffrey B(Apr 2001) Secondary Metabolites: Attracting Pollinators. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0000909]