Green leaf volatiles

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Green leaf volatiles (commonly abbreviated as GLV) are volatile organic compounds that are released when plants suffer tissue damage. Specifically, they include aldehydes, esters, and alcohols of 6-carbon compounds released after wounding.[1]

Some of these chemicals act as signalling compounds between either plants of the same species, of other species or even vastly different lifeforms like insects. Some, although not necessarily all, of these chemicals act essentially as plant pheromones.[2]

The smell of a freshly mowed lawn is best known to humans, but for other forms of life GLV have a far less trivial function, mostly as a warning signal of oncoming causes of tissue damage, but also as a form of inter-species signalling - for example, to attract insects that prey on caterpillars that are consuming the plant.


  1. ^ Kenji Matsui; Kohichi Sugimoto; Jun'ichi Mano; Rika Ozawa; Junji Takabayashi (April 30, 2012). "Differential Metabolisms of Green Leaf Volatiles in Injured and Intact Parts of a Wounded Leaf Meet Distinct Ecophysiological Requirements". PLOS ONE. Retrieved 24 March 2013. 
  2. ^ J H Visser. "Green leaf volatiles". Retrieved 14 March 2013. 

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

J H Visser (1983). "Differential Sensory Perceptions of Plant Compounds by Insects" (PDF). Plant Resistance to Insects. Retrieved 14 March 2013. [dead link]