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The fragrance of the rose

One of the genes responsible for the fragrance typical of roses has been identified.

Rose © N. Mansion
Updated on 06/12/2019
Published on 06/04/2019

Roses are known throughout the world for their beauty and the diversity of their flowers, the large variability of flower colour, the diversity of their architecture and their fragrance. For several years, considerable research has been carried out to develop knowledge on rose fragrance compounds (more than 60 identified in the petals) and to identify the genes involved in the production of these compounds. 

In this study, we analysed a segregating population obtained from parents that express various compounds differently. Thus, while the male parent produces a major compound of the rose fragrance (2-phenylethanol: 2PE) and the female parent is not able to produce it, and we observed the transmission of this compound in the progeny (80 hybrids).

This study made it possible to identify the gene responsible for the production of 2PE (RhPAAS) which codes for phenylacetaldehyde synthase. Gene expression studies showed the link between the presence of 2PE and the expression of one allele transmitted by the male parent.

These studies provide insight on Rose fragrance and will enable the development of molecular tools to select the presence of specific compounds in the new Rose varieties.

Partners: This work was conducted in the UMR IRHS in Angers in collaboration with the UMR LBVPAM of the University of Saint Etienne

Publication: Hibrand Saint-Oyant L, Roccia A, Cavel E, Caissard J-C, Machenaud J, Thouroude T, Jeauffre J, Bony A, Dubois A, Vergne P et al: Biosynthesis of 2-Phenylethanol in Rose Petals Is Linked to the Expression of One Allele of RhPAAS. Plant Physiology 2019, 179(3):1064-1079. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1104/pp.18.01468