Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy




Dr. Ken Yeung


A dynamic headspace method was developed for the non-targeted analysis of volatile organic compounds (VOC) in Arabidopsis and Micro-Tom plants. The method allowed to determine differences from wild type (WT) and transformed plants overexpressing the carotene cleavage dioxygenase 1 (CCD1) genes. In the Arabidopsis study it was revealed the presence of unsaturated hydrocarbons, aromatic derivatives, alcohols, and terpenes. Among extracted volatiles, the apocarotenoid compound β-ionone was also detected, four-fold higher in the transgenic plants than the WT. There were not significant differences in the VOCs between the HS of Micro-Tom tomato plants overexpressing the CCD1 genes and WT. The compounds identified were mainly terpenes, and aromatic derivatives and there was no evidence of the presence of any apocarotenoid compound.

A static headspace (SHS) method was developed for the analysis of VOCs in Micro-Tom tomato flowers. It was performed by simultaneously using three solid phase microextraction fibers. The non-targeted analysis revealed the presence of 45 volatiles from CCD1 plants and 35 from WT. Of the total VOCs identified, 30 were common to both types of plants, but 15 were specific to the CCD1 plants and 5 to the WT.

In another study, bio-oil from tomato plant was generated by pyrolysis process. Bio-oil was fractionated according to its pesticidal properties. Neophytadiene, phytol and a number of fatty acids were identified in the most active fractions. Bioassays using these compounds showed partial insecticidal activity, suggesting that other unidentified compounds in the bio-oil fractions were also responsible for observed insecticidal activities.