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Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2002 May;66(5):943-7.

Biogenesis of 2-phenylethanol in rose flowers: incorporation of [2H8]L-phenylalanine into 2-phenylethanol and its beta-D-glucopyranoside during the flower opening of Rosa 'Hoh-Jun' and Rosa damascena Mill.

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The United Graduate School of Agricultural Science, Gifu University, Ohya, Japan.


To clarify the biosynthetic pathway to 2-phenylethanol (2), the deuterium-labeled putative precursor, [2H8]L-phenylalanine ([2H8-1]), was fed to the flowers of Rosa 'Hoh-Jun' and R. damascena Mill. throughout maturation, ceasing feeding at the commencement of petal unfurling and at full bloom. Based on GC-MS analyses, [2H8]-1 was incorporated into both 2 and 2-phenylethyl beta-D-glucopyranoside (3) when the flowers were fed until full bloom, whereas no such incorporation into 2 was apparent when feeding was ceased earlier. In both species of rose, the labeling pattern for 2 was almost identical to that for 3, and indicated the presence of [2H6]-, [2H7]- and [2H8]-2, and [2H6]-, [2H7]- and [2H8]-3. This may be ascribed to the equilibrium between 2 and 3. The labeling pattern for 2 and 3 also indicated that these compounds were produced from 1 via several routes, the route involving phenylpyruvic acid being the major one.

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