Victoria Ruiz-Hernández, 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , * Lize Joubert, 3 , 5 Amador Rodríguez-Gómez, 1 , 2 Silvia Artuso, 4 Jonathan G. Pattrick, 3 , 6 Perla A. Gómez, 1 Sarah Eckerstorfer, 4 Sarah Sophie Brandauer, 4 Carolina G. I. Trcka-Rojas, 4 Luis Martínez-Reina, 7 Josh Booth, 8 Alex Lau-Zhu, 9 , 10 Julia Weiss, 1 , 2 Pablo Bielza, 1 , 2 Beverley J. Glover, 3 Robert R. Junker, 4 , 11 and Marcos Egea-Cortines 1 , 2


1Institute of Plant Biotechnology, Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena, Edificio I+D+I, Campus Muralla del Mar, Cartagena, Spain
2Departamento de Ingeniería Agronómica, Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Agrónomos, Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena, Cartagena, Spain
3Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
4Department of Biosciences, University Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria
5Department of Plant Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
6Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
7Departamento de Arquitectura y Tecnología de la Edificación, Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura y Edificación, Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena, Cartagena, Spain
8Department of Sociology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
9Oxford Institute of Clinical Psychology Training and Research, Medical Sciences Division, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
10Division of Psychiatry, Department of Brain Sciences, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom
11Evolutionary Ecology of Plants, Faculty of Biology, Philipps-University Marburg, Marburg, Germany
Edited by: Michael Gutensohn, West Virginia University, United States
Reviewed by: Robert A. Raguso, Cornell University, United States; Christina Grozinger, North Carolina State University, United States


Cell Biology


Studies on the selection of floral traits usually consider pollinators and sometimes herbivores. However, humans also exert selection on floral traits of ornamental plants. We compared the preferences of bumblebees (Bombus terrestris), thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis), and humans for flowers of snapdragon. From a cross of two species, Antirrhinum majus and Antirrhinum linkianum, we selected four Recombinant Inbred Lines (RILs). We characterised scent emission from whole flowers and stamens, pollen content and viability, trichome density, floral shape, size and colour of floral parts. We tested the preferences of bumblebees, thrips, and humans for whole flowers, floral scent bouquets, stamen scent, and individual scent compounds. Humans and bumblebees showed preferences for parental species, whereas thrips preferred RILs. Colour and floral scent, in combination with other floral traits, seem relevant phenotypes for all organisms. Remarkably, visual traits override scent cues for bumblebees, although, scent is an important trait when bumblebees cannot see the flowers, and methyl benzoate was identified as a key attractant for them. The evolutionary trajectory of flowers is the result of multiple floral traits interacting with different organisms with different habits and modes of interaction.



Pollen samples were illuminated using a CoolLED pE300 White Fluorescence illumination system and imaged using a Nikon Eclipse 50i microscope with a 40X objective and a mounted GT Vision GXCAM HiChrome-S tablet.

Product Associated Features

The pE-300white is a popular illuminator for everyday fluorescent screening and analysis with simple operation and individual irradiance control of each LED channel.

Product Type



Frontiers in plant science

Year of Publication


Country of Publication