Improving Scent Production in Flowers
Traditional breeding of many ornamentals has unintentionally selected against scent due to the negative correlation between longevity and fragrance. The lack of distinctive scent in many modern floricultural varieties has been recognized as one of the major problems in the floriculture industry. Engineering transgenic plants with improved scent quality would ameliorate this problem. However, it requires an understanding of the molecular and biochemical basis of floral scent production, availability of cloned genes encoding enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of floral violatiles, and promoters directing the expression of these genes to the proper tissue (petals) and at the proper stage of development. We have investigated the molecular changes that affect the level of scent emission in snapdragon, isolated new genes involved in the formation of volatile compounds, and isolated and analyzed the BAMT (Sadenosyl-L-methionine: benzoic acid carboxyl methyltransferase) and LIS (linalool synthase) promoters, which could be potentially used to produce transgenic cut flowers with improved novel scents.
Source: • American Floral Endowment Special Research Reports #408