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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