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Planta. 2007 Sep;226(4):853-66. Epub 2007 May 23.

Both the adaxial and abaxial epidermal layers of the rose petal emit volatile scent compounds.

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Laboratoire de Biotechnologies Végétales, Plantes Aromatiques et Médicinales, EA 3061, Université Jean Monnet, 23, rue du Dr. Michelon, 42023 Saint-Etienne Cedex 2, France.


The localization and timing of production and emission of scent was studied in different Rosa x hybrida cultivars, focusing on three particular topics. First, it was found that petals represent the major source of scent in R. x hybrida. In heavily scented cultivars, the spectrum and levels of volatiles emitted by the flower broadly correlated with the spectrum and levels of volatiles contained within the petal, throughout petal development. Secondly, analysis of rose cultivars that lacked a detectable scent indicated that the absence of fragrance was due to a reduction in both the biosynthesis and emission of scent volatiles. A cytological study, conducted on scented and non-scented rose cultivars showed that no major difference was visible in the anatomy of the petals either at small magnification in optical sections or in ultrathin sections observed by TEM. In particular, the cuticle of epidermal cells was not thicker in scentless cultivars. Thirdly, using two different techniques, solid/liquid phase extraction and headspace collection of volatiles, we showed that in roses, both epidermal layers are capable of producing and emitting scent volatiles, despite the different morphologies of the cells of these two tissues. Moreover, OOMT, an enzyme involved in scent molecule biosynthesis was localized in both epidermal layers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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