Eight-carbon volatiles: prominent fungal and plant interaction compounds

Kayla K. Pennerman, Guohua Yin, Joan W. Bennett

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Signaling via volatile organic compounds (VOCs) has historically been studied mostly by entomologists; however, botanists and mycologists are increasingly aware of the physiological potential of chemical communication in the gas phase. Most research to date focuses on the observed effects of VOCs on different organisms such as differential growth or metabolite production. However, with the increased interest in volatile signaling, more researchers are investigating the molecular mechanisms for these effects. Eight-carbon VOCs are among the most prevalent and best-studied fungal volatiles. Therefore, this review emphasizes examples of eight-carbon VOCs affecting plants and fungi. These compounds display different effects that include growth suppression in both plants and fungi, induction of defensive behaviors such as accumulation of mycotoxins, phytohormone signaling cascades, and the inhibition of spore and seed germination. Application of '-omics' and other next-generation sequencing techniques is poised to decipher the mechanistic basis of volatiles in plant-fungal communication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)487-497
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 13 2022
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science


  • 1-octen-3-ol
  • Competition
  • defense
  • growth
  • semiochemical
  • signaling
  • volatile organic compounds


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