Cuticle thickness affects dynamics of volatile emission from petunia flowers

Pan Liao, Shaunak Ray, Benoît Boachon, Joseph H. Lynch, Arnav Deshpande, Scott McAdam, John A. Morgan, Natalia Dudareva*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)
27 Downloads (Pure)


The plant cuticle is the final barrier for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to cross for release to the atmosphere, yet its role in the emission process is poorly understood. Here, using a combination of reverse-genetic and chemical approaches, we demonstrate that the cuticle imposes substantial resistance to VOC mass transfer, acting as a sink/concentrator for VOCs and hence protecting cells from the potentially toxic internal accumulation of these hydrophobic compounds. Reduction in cuticle thickness has differential effects on individual VOCs depending on their volatility, and leads to their internal cellular redistribution, a shift in mass transfer resistance sources and altered VOC synthesis. These results reveal that the cuticle is not simply a passive diffusion barrier for VOCs to cross, but plays the aforementioned complex roles in the emission process as an integral member of the overall VOC network.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-145
Number of pages8
JournalNature Chemical Biology
Issue number2
Early online date19 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Cuticle thickness affects dynamics of volatile emission from petunia flowers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this