Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Genetically Making Sweeter-Smelling Roses

Genetically Making Sweeter-Smelling Roses

      For years scientists have been cross breeding various types of roses to genetically produce the most beautiful looking rose in history. Due to these generations of breeding roses for their looks, it has taken away from the roses naturally sweet and attractive smell. Now being in the 21st century, scientists are slowly trying to give roses that beautiful scent again through a newly discovered gene they could genetically add to scentless genetically produced roses.

     When a person smells a rose, what they are smelling is actually multiple chemical compounds creating the sweet smell. The chemical compounds causing the sweet smell are mostly alcohols called monoterpenes. After years of breeding roses for physical attraction, modern day roses have decreased amounts of monoterpenes which leads to lack of sweet smell in them.
     Rose breeders in today's world are concentrating on bringing back the sweet scent in roses now that they have mastered the look of the rose. The genomes of scent-full Papa Meilland roses and scentless Rouge Meilland roses were compared to figure out why one has scent and the other doesn't (genetically speaking). It was found that roses strongly possessing the gene called RhNUDX1 contain a strong monoterpene, which mostly gives the rose their strong scent. With this discovery breeders can offer futuristic breeding approaches and possibly produce more of this gene in roses allowing stronger scent and allowing them to be genetically modified to eventually have a naturally occurring sweet smell again.
    I strongly believe that with the scientific technology we have today and with this new discovery of the gene RhNUDX1 causing the sweet wonderful smell in roses, we can create not only a genetically physically attractive rose but also bring back the natural sweet smell in the rose.

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  1. I personally never liked the smell of roses all that much and this might be why! I would have never guessed that the reason I didn't understand the stereotype of sweet smelling roses and why the smell was never appealing to me was because the smell was lost to genetically alter the look of the flower. Interesting to know!

  2. I find it truly amazing that in the 21st century scientists have the ability to try to add more scent to roses that have lost their original scent because of the decreased amounts of monoterpenes. It shows how our scientific technology has really evolved over the years. I would of never imagined that it is possible to fix flowers that have lost their sent. Very interesting article topic!

  3. The reason I found this article to be interesting is that roses could actually lose their scent through generations. It is good to know intricate details about certain things such as the absence or decrease in monoterpenes leading to the dulled scent of a flower.