Dr. Patrick von Aderkas

Dr. Patrick von Aderkas
Acting Director and Professor
Centre for Forest Biology, Biology

BSc (Guelph), PhD (Manchester)

Area of expertise

Gymnosperm reproduction


  • Gymnosperm reproduction

Reproduction in gymnosperms begins with interaction of pollen with ovules. After being delivered by insect or, more commonly by wind, pollen comes into contact with ovules. A pollination drop is secreted. The drop withdraws into the interior of the ovule, carrying the pollen with it. Some drops are quite sugary: these behave as nectar. Others in wind-pollinated systems are much less sugary and merely transport pollen. Regardless of pollination syndrome, drops eliminate fungi and bacteria that are also poised to enter these ovules that, characteristic of gymnosperms, are open to the outside. We have used proteomics, HPLC and other methods. We have begun to unpick the evolutionary history of the composition of these fluids. Most recently, we have also begun working on cycads, in particular the fertilization fluids in which their giant sperm swim.

For more information on specific projects, check out the von Aderkas Lab website.

Research group

Dr. Juergen Ehlting (Visiting Professor), Emma Creasy (Undergrad), Alistair Knox (Undergrad), Madeleine Guimond (Undergrad)


YearJournal titleTitleAuthors
2022Plant ScienceOrnamental tobacco floral nectar is a rich source of antimicrobial peptidesParra Aura L.C., Freitas Cleverson D.T., Souza Pedro F.N., von Aderkas Patrick, Borchers Christoph H., Beattie Gwyn A., Silva Fredy D.A., Thornburg Robert W.
2022Botanical ReviewComposition of sexual fluids in Cycas revoluta ovules during pollination and fertilizationvon Aderkas P., Little S., Nepi M., Guarnieri M., Antony M., Takaso T.
2021TreesPhytohormone profiles of sterile Douglas-fir mutants and the responses to stem-injected gibberellinsKong L., Jaquish B., Zaharia I., von Aderkas P.
2019Journal of ProteomicsLC-MS/MS based comparative proteomics of floral nectars reveal different mechanism involved in floral defense of Nicotiana spp., Petunia hybrida and Datura stramoniumSilva FA, Guirgas A, von Aderkas P, Borchers CH, Thornburg R
2018Frontiers in Plant ScienceThe evolution of sexual fluids in gymnosperms from pollination drops to nectarvon Aderkas P, Prior N, Little SA
2018Plant ReproductionComplex reproductive secretions occur in all extant gymnsosperm lineages: a proteomic survey of gymnosperm pollination dropsPrior N, Little SA, Boyes I, Griffith P, Husby C, Pirone-Davies C, Stevenson DW, Tomlinson PB, von Aderkas P
2018Frontiers in Plant ScienceSex-dependent variation in pumpkin (Cucurbita maxima cv. Big Max) nectar and nectaries as determined by proteomics and metabolomicsChatt EC, von Aderkas P, Carter CJ, Smith D, Elliott M, Nikolau B
2018TreesEffects of stem-injected gibberellins and 6-benzylaminopurine on phytohormone profiles and cone yield in two lodgepole pine genotypesKong L, von Aderkas P, Zaharia I
2019BotanyFungal colonizers and seed loss in lodgepole pine orchards of British Columbiade la Bastide PY, LeBlanc J, Kong L, Finston T, May EM, Reich R, Hintz WE, von Aderkas P
2017Agricultural and Forest MeteorologyAn assessment of Pinus contorta seed production in British Columbia: Geographic variation and dynamically-downscaled climate correlates from the Canadian Regional Climate ModelLew A, P von Aderkas, A Berland, CL Curry, T Lacourse, B Tencer, and A Weaver
2017Annals of BotanyPhylogenetic and functional signals in gymnosperm ovular secretions.Nepi M, S Little, M Guarnieri, D Nocentini, N Prior, J Gill, PB Tomlinson, SM Ickert-Bond, C Pirone, E Pacini, P von Aderkas
2016Annals of BotanyInsights from the pollination drop proteome and the ovule transcriptome of Cephalotaxus at the time of pollination drop productionPirone-Davies C, N Prior, P von Aderkas, D Smith, D Hardie, WE Friedman, S Mathews
2016Insect Molecular BiologyTranscriptome analysis provides insight into venom evolution in a seed-parasitic wasp, Megastigmus spermotrophus.Paulson AR, P von Aderkas, SJ Perlman
2016Plant ReproductionA transcriptomic resource for Douglas-fir seed development and analysis of transcription during late megagametophyte developmentLittle SA, Boyes IG, Donaleshen K, von Aderkas P, Ehlting, J
2015Annals of BotanyEffect of light conditions on anatomical and biochemical aspects of somatic and zygotic embryos of hybrid larch (Larix × marschlinsii)von Aderkas P, C Teyssier, JP Charpentier, M Gutmann, L Pâques, C Le Metté, K Ader, P Label, L Kong, MA Lelu-Walter
2015PLOS ONEHost-parasite interactions from the inside: plant reproductive ontogeny drives specialization in parasitic insects.Boivin T, C Gidoin, P von Aderkas, J Safrana, J-N Candau, A Chalon, M Sondo, M El Maâtaoui
2015Journal of Plant Growth RegulationEffects of exogenously-applied gibberellins and thidiazuron on phytohormone profiles of long-shoot buds and cone gender determination in lodgepole pine.Kong L, P von Aderkas, LI Zaharia
2014The Botanical ReviewDegradome and secretome of pollination drops of Ephedravon Aderkas P, NA Prior, S Jesse, S Little, T Cross, D Hardie, C Borchers, R Thornburg, C Hou, A Lunny
2014BMC MicrobiologyBacterial associates of seed-parasitic wasps (Hymenoptera: MegastigmusPaulson AR, P von Aderkas, SJ Perlman
2013Ecology of Food and NutritionLodgepole Pine Cambium (Pinus contorta Dougl. ex Loud. var. latifolia Engelm. ex S. Wats.): a springtime first peoples' food in British Columbia.Dilbone M, NJ Turner, P von Aderkas
2013Applications in Plant SciencesApplication of proteomics to the study of pollination drops.Prior N, SA Little, C Pirone, JE Gill, D Smith, J Han, D Hardie, SJ O'Leary, RE Wagner, T Cross, A Coulter, C Borchers, RW Olafson, P von Aderkas