Fragrant Plants Trivia Questions and Answers

yellow and white flowers

1: What is the primary function of a flower’s scent in plant-pollinator interactions?
A: Deterring herbivores
B: Attracting pollinators
C: Repelling other plants
D: Providing nutrients
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Floral scent primarily functions to attract pollinators, facilitating plant reproduction.

2: Which flower emits a fragrance mainly composed of linalool?
A: Rose
B: Tulip
C: Lonicera japonica
D: Lavender
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The flowers of Lonicera japonica emit a sweet, subtle fragrance mainly composed of linalool.

3: How do insects detect floral scents?
A: Chemoreceptors
B: Photoreceptors
C: Thermoreceptors
D: Mechanoreceptors
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: Insects detect floral scents through chemoreceptors that respond to volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

4: Which of the following best describes the interaction between VOCs and chemoreceptors in insects?
A: Physical bonding
B: Electromagnetic induction
C: Activation of antennal glomeruli
D: Thermal activation
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The fixation of a VOC on a chemoreceptor triggers the activation of an antennal glomerulus in insects, leading to a behavioral response.

5: What allows flower visitors to efficiently choose their flowers?
A: Long-term and short-term memory
B: Color changes
C: Soil nutrients
D: Presence of water
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: Flower visitors rely on long-term and short-term memory to associate floral scents with rewards such as nectar and pollen.

6: To what does the term “anthesis” refer?
A: Chlorophyll production
B: Flower fecundity
C: Leaf shedding
D: Root growth
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Anthesis refers to the period when the flower is highly fertile and emits the highest levels of floral scent.

7: What type of VOCs are most commonly found in floral scent blends?
A: Alcohols
B: Terpenoids
C: Alkaloids
D: Proteins
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Terpenoids are the most commonly found VOCs in floral scent blends and make up the majority of floral VOCs.

8: Which chemical pathway synthesizes terpenoids in plants?
A: Calvin-Benson cycle
B: Krebs cycle
C: Mevalonate pathway
D: Glycolysis
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Terpenoids are synthesized in plants via the mevalonate pathway or the erythritol phosphate pathway.

9: What effect does pollination have on scent emissions in tropical orchids?
A: Increases scent emissions
B: Changes color of flower
C: Terminates scent emissions
D: Has no effect
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: In tropical orchids, floral scent emission is terminated immediately following pollination to save energy on fragrance production.

10: What regulates the circadian rhythm of floral scent emissions?
A: Soil pH
B: Wind speed
C: Light intensity
D: Water availability
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Variations in floral scent emissions follow a circadian rhythm controlled by light intensity.

11: Which type of VOCs are known as green leaf volatiles?
A: Fatty acid derivatives
B: Terpenoids
C: Proteins
D: Phenylpropanoids
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: Green leaf volatiles are fatty acid derivatives emitted by the vegetative parts of plants.

12: Which volatile organic compounds are synthesized from phenylalanine?
A: Terpenoids
B: Fatty acid derivatives
C: Benzenoids/phenylpropanoids
D: Alkaloids
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Benzenoids/phenylpropanoids are aromatic compounds synthesized from phenylalanine.

13: What is a potential environmental factor that can increase the emission of floral VOCs?
A: Decreased humidity
B: Lower soil pH levels
C: Increased temperature
D: Reduced sunlight
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Increased temperatures in the environment can elevate the emission rates of VOCs in flowers.

14: Why do herbivores emit new VOCs when their leaves are attacked?
A: To attract more herbivores
B: To repel pollinators
C: To signal an SOS to other plants
D: To warn the attacking herbivore
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Herbivores emit new VOCs to signal an SOS to other plants, which may then produce defensive compounds.

15: What happens to floral scent emissions of damaged flowers?
A: They increase exponentially
B: They emit new VOCs
C: They stay the same
D: They stop completely
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Damaged flowers emit a modified floral scent compared to undamaged ones.

16: What analytical technique is commonly used to separate volatilized VOCs?
A: Magnetic resonance imaging
B: Gas chromatography
C: Liquid chromatography
D: X-ray diffraction
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Gas chromatography (GC) is used to separate volatilized VOCs due to their low molecular weight.

17: Which solvent is most commonly used in the desorption by solvent method for VOCs?
A: Water
B: Acetone
C: Methanol
D: Benzene
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Methanol, being a very volatile molecule, is commonly used to avoid co-elution with heavier VOCs.

18: In external calibration, what is plotted to create calibration curves?
A: Volume vs. density
B: Quantity vs. peak area
C: Color intensity vs. time
D: Mass vs. charge ratio
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Calibration curves plot quantity against peak area during external calibration.

19: What is a common challenge in analyzing floral scent samples?
A: Limited sunlight
B: High water content
C: High chemical diversity
D: Low molecular weight
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: High chemical diversity in floral scent samples makes accurately detecting and quantifying minor compounds challenging.

20: How do enantiomers in floral scents affect pollinators?
A: They are visually detected
B: They trigger identical responses
C: They trigger very different responses
D: They have no effect
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Enantiomers may trigger very different responses in pollinators despite being chemically similar.

21: Which chemical class of VOCs in floral scents are derived from isoprene?
A: Phenylpropanoids
B: Terpenoids
C: Fatty acid derivatives
D: Alkaloids
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Terpenoids are derived from isoprene and are a primary component of many floral scents.

22: When do snapdragon flowers, which are primarily pollinated by bees, emit the highest levels of scent?
A: At sunrise
B: At noon
C: At midnight
D: In the evening
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Snapdragon flowers emit the highest levels of scent at noon, coinciding with peak pollinator activity.

23: How might increased atmospheric CO2 concentration impact floral scent emission?
A: Increase emission
B: Has no effect
C: Decrease emission
D: Remove VOCs
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: Increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations can increase the emission of VOCs in flowers.

24: What is one method used to adsorb floral VOCs for analysis?
A: SPME fibers
B: Aluminium foil
C: Plastic wrap
D: Carbon paper
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: SPME (Solid Phase Microextraction) fibers are used to adsorb floral VOCs for analytical purposes.

25: What role do floral volatiles play in plant-plant communication?
A: Increasing soil nutrients
B: Indicating mating environment
C: Blocking sunlight
D: Enhancing water retention
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Floral volatiles indicate the mating environment and help plants respond accordingly.

26: What is a biosynthetic precursor for terpenoids in floral scent?
A: Isoprene
B: Glucose
C: Lactic acid
D: Alanine
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: Isoprene is the biosynthetic precursor for terpenoids.

27: How can high plant density affect floral scent signaling?
A: Decreases signal reliability
B: Lowers signal degradation
C: Increases evaporation
D: Limits scent production
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: High plant density can increase the reliability of scent signals and reduce their chances of degrading before reaching other plants.

28: What type of chromatography is ideal for separating volatilized VOCs?
A: Liquid chromatography
B: Paper chromatography
C: Gas chromatography
D: Thin-layer chromatography
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Gas chromatography (GC) is ideal for separating volatilized VOCs due to their low molecular weight.

29: What happens to the scent emission after pollination in plants like snapdragons?
A: It increases
B: It decreases
C: It stays the same
D: It changes color
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Scent emissions decrease after pollination to conserve energy.

30: In what way do temperature changes affect floral scent emissions?
A: Lower temperatures decrease emission rates
B: Higher temperatures decrease VOC release
C: Increased temperatures raise VOC emission rates
D: Temperature has no effect
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Higher temperatures increase the rate of releasing floral compounds, enhancing signal reach.

31: Why is methanol often used in the desorption by solvent method for VOCs?
A: It dissolves VOCs completely
B: It is a volatile molecule
C: It reacts with VOCs
D: It is inexpensive
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Methanol is a volatile molecule, which helps prevent co-elution with slightly heavier VOCs during chromatography.

32: Which scoring method compares the peak area of VOCs with a chemical standard?
A: Differential equation
B: Relative comparison
C: Internal calibration
D: Arithmetic ratio
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Internal calibration compares the peak area of VOCs with the peak area of injected chemical standards.

33: Which environmental condition is NOT known to affect floral scent regulation?
A: Temperature
B: Atmospheric CO2 concentration
C: Soil nutrient status
D: Wind speed
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: Wind speed is not mentioned as a factor impacting floral scent regulation.

34: What is the primary advantage of using thermal desorption over solvent desorption in VOC analysis?
A: Lower cost
B: Higher speed
C: Higher sensitivity
D: Easier to use
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Thermal desorption is preferred for its higher sensitivity in analyzing VOCs.

35: Which set of attributes controls the attraction or repellence of plants via floral compounds?
A: Color and shape
B: Composition and release rate
C: Height and width
D: Soil nutrients and pH
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The composition and release rate of floral compounds control their attraction or repellence.

36: How do damaged flowers differ from undamaged ones in terms of VOC emissions?
A: Emit fewer VOCs
B: Emit different VOCs
C: Emit more VOCs
D: No difference
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Damaged flowers emit a modified set of VOCs compared to undamaged ones.

37: What does GC-MS stand for in VOC analysis?
A: Gas Chromatography-Mass Stability
B: Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
C: Gas Chromatography-Molecular Synthesis
D: Gas Collecting-Mass Sampling
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: GC-MS stands for Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry, a technique used to analyze floral scents.

38: Floral volatiles of which flowers do reduce attractiveness after pollination?
A: Orchids
B: Tulips
C: Roses
D: Daisies
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: In sexually deceptive orchids, floral scents emitted after pollination reduce the flower’s attractiveness to pollinators.

39: Which type of plant volatiles are emitted when leaves are attacked by herbivores?
A: Aromatic compounds
B: Herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs)
C: Fatty acid derivatives
D: Green leaf volatiles
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) are emitted when plant leaves are attacked.

40: Which VOC analysis method involves immersing petals in a solvent to extract chemicals?
A: Liquid chromatography
B: Desorption by solvent
C: Thermal desorption
D: Gas chromatography
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Desorption by solvent involves immersing petals in a solvent to extract chemicals for VOC analysis.

41: Why might some plant VOCs produced in low amounts still significantly affect pollinator behavior?
A: Due to synergistic mechanisms
B: Due to genetic encoding
C: Because they are visually detectable
D: They have strong colors
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: Even low amounts of certain VOCs can have significant effects on pollinator behavior due to synergistic mechanisms.

42: Which factor does NOT influence flower visitors’ ability to locate their host species?
A: Floral scent
B: Leaf shape
C: Floral color
D: Reward memory
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Flower visitors locate their host species through floral scent, color, and reward memory, not by leaf shape.

43: What is the role of ethylene in regulating floral scent emissions post-pollination?
A: Promotes VOC emission
B: Inhibits VOC synthesis
C: Alters pigmentation
D: Stimulates growth
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Ethylene inhibits the synthesis of benzenoid floral volatiles after successful pollination.

44: Which floral scent component evolved as herbivore repellents?
A: Terpenoids
B: Alkaloids
C: VOC families
D: Benzenoids
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Certain families of VOCs in floral scents have evolved as herbivore repellents.

45: Why do micro-organisms in nectar affect floral scent emissions?
A: Alter chemical composition
B: Consume VOCs
C: Block VOC emissions
D: Increase flower size
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: Micro-organisms in nectar can alter the chemical composition of floral scent emissions.

46: What describes the correct use of internal calibration in VOC quantification?
A: Plotting mass against time
B: Using an external reference curve
C: Injecting chemical standards together with VOCs
D: Comparing retention times
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Internal calibration involves injecting a known quantity of chemical standards together with VOCs to measure peak areas.

47: What heightens the fitness of plants receiving floral volatiles compared to other volatile cues?
A: Indicating the mating environment
B: Providing nutritional benefits
C: Acting as physical barriers
D: Reducing water loss
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: Floral volatiles indicate the mating environment, thus increasing the fitness of receiving plants.

48: What impact does hydric stress have on floral scent emissions?
A: Enhances emissions
B: Has no effect
C: Reduces emissions
D: Color change
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Hydric stress can reduce the emissions of floral scents.

49: What triggers the behavioral response in flower visitors upon detecting floral scents?
A: Chemoreceptors
B: Mechanical receptors
C: Thermal receptors
D: Photoreceptors
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: Floral scents detected by chemoreceptors trigger behavioral responses in flower visitors.

50: Which method is most suitable for VOCs with high chemical diversity?
A: Internal calibration
B: Gas mixing
C: Visual comparison
D: External calibration
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: External calibration works best when there is high chemical diversity in floral scent samples.

51: What kind of molecular properties allow the identification and detection of VOCs?
A: Density and viscosity
B: Weight and chemical properties
C: Electrical charge
D: Thermal conductance
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: VOCs are identified and detected based on their molecular weight and chemical properties.

52: What term best describes the synchronous variation of floral scent emissions throughout the day?
A: Annual rhythm
B: Daily cycle
C: Circadian rhythm
D: Diurnal variation
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Floral scent emissions vary with a circadian rhythm, controlled by light intensity.

53: What is the common method to assess the chemical composition of VOCs in plants?
A: DNA sequencing
B: Chromatography
C: Protein electrophoresis
D: X-ray diffraction
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Chromatography, particularly Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS), is a common method to assess VOCs.

54: Which insects are particularly reliant on floral scents to find their host plants?
A: Bees
B: Ants
C: Butterflies
D: Termites
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: Bees use floral scents extensively to locate their host plants.

55: How does floral scent emission align with a flower’s fecundity?
A: High fecundity increases emissions
B: High fecundity decreases emissions
C: Fecundity has no effect
D: Alters color but not emissions
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: High levels of scent emissions coincide with peaks of a flower’s fecundity to attract pollinators.

56: What effect do antagonistic selection pressures have on flower traits?
A: Neutralize each other
B: Balance positive and negative selection
C: Enhance negative selection only
D: Increase mutation rate
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Flower traits undergo a balance of positive selection by pollinators and negative selection by herbivores.

57: What type of memory enables flower visitors to recognize and remember specific floral scents?
A: Short-term memory
B: Long-term memory
C: Genetic memory
D: Sensory memory
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Long-term memory allows flower visitors to recognize and remember specific floral scents.

58: Which biochemical pathway produces most fatty acid derivatives in floral VOCs?
A: Krebs cycle
B: Calvin cycle
C: Glycolysis
D: Mevalonate pathway
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: Fatty acid derivatives are primarily synthesized through pathways beginning with acetyl-CoA from the mevalonate pathway.

59: How can increased plant density impact plant signaling?
A: Decreases signal reach
B: Increases signal reliability
C: Reduces signal degradation
D: Both B and C
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: Increased plant density improves signal reliability and reduces degradation.

60: Why are thermal desorbers used in the analysis of VOCs?
A: To cool down samples
B: To volatilize non-VOCs
C: To flash-heat adsorbed VOCs for separation
D: To freeze volatile compounds
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Thermal desorbers flash-heat adsorbed VOCs for their injection into separation systems like gas chromatography.

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