Claire Suchet


           I am interested by the diversity of flower fragrances and the ecological and evolutionary forces which shape them. The long-time aim of my researches is to understand the role of the bouquet of floral odors of a species model, the snapdragon, a rewarded pollinated-generalist, herbivore and parasite-specialist plant.


           To do so, I characterize the intraspecific scent variation of living plants of two subspecies and their hybrids of the species model Antirrhinum majus in the Eastern Pyrenees Mountains. Floral scent represents a communicative, dynamic and complex phenotypic trait, which is expected to play an significant evolutionary role.


In practice, I canalize my researches in 4 projects:

(i) I characterize flower emissions variation between the two snapdragon subspecies from the field and from the common and controlled greenhouse conditions using the same chemicals sampling design (dynamic headspace collection system). I thus target to highlight part of floral scent variation explained by the environment and the genetic determinism.

(ii) I study also the flower scent patterns in F1 and F2 hybrids into the greenhouse and hybrids from the most studied hybrid zone on the field. I hope that this study of the heredity of fragrance variation will allow to improve our knowledge on the quantitative genetic of floral scent.

(iii) I then determine the activity of volatiles on the main biological agents such as pollinators and flower parasites by physiological approach (EAG) and cognitive method (PER and olfactory Y-maze) to know whether ecological relationship with insects could be a motor of the snapdragon evolution.

(iv) One of my interest is also the associative pattern between scent variability and the nectar composition. By focalizing on the secondary metabolites found into the nectar, I aim to acquire an informative tool to argue in favor or not of a specialization of pollinators between the two divergent subspecies.


Research interests

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