While studying grapes used to produce Cabernet Sauvignon from the Okanagan region of British Columbia, researchers from UBC's Wine Research Centre and Michael Smith Laboratories identified a gene that produces and regulates fragrance from the vines' tiny clusters of green blossoms.
"This was a surprise in fundamental plant biology," says Joerg Bohlmann, a Distinguished University Scholar and professor in the Michael Smith Laboratories who directed the study. "This discovery gives us strong clues to the origin and evolution of fragrant flowers."
Details of the study are published in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Online Early Edition.
Scientists believe plants have evolved to produce perfume in order to attract specific types of pollinators while fending off herbivores and pathogens.
"If you ask people where the perfume of a flower comes from, they'll likely say the female parts or the petals," says Bohlmann. While flowers such as roses and snapdragons rely on their petals to produce perfume and attract insects, few other species have been so closely studied.
"Cultivated grapevines are largely self-pollinated, so we believe the fragrance serves more as a defense mechanism to protect their male reproductive tissues from predatory insects," says Bohlmann, who adds that further studies on other flowering species may turn up similar mechanisms. "It may be more prevalent than we think."
The team also found that emission of perfume is light-dependent and is strongest at dawn, possibly to coincide with pollination and predation activities.
The study was supported by funding from Genome Canada, Genome B.C. and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.
Brian Lin | EurekAlert!
Further reports about: > Cabernet Sauvignon > Cultivated grapevines > Genom > Male flower parts > Science TV > Wine Research Centre > fundamental plant biology > grapevine > grapevine flowers > green blossoms > herbivores > laboratories > pathogens > pollen grains > potent grapevine perfume > specific types of pollinators
Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product
02.12.2016 | Purdue University
New findings about the deformed wing virus, a major factor in honey bee colony mortality
11.11.2016 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.
The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...
UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration
"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...
Fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) are frequently used in the aeronautic and automobile industry. However, the repair of workpieces made of these composite materials is often less profitable than exchanging the part. In order to increase the lifetime of FRP parts and to make them more eco-efficient, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and the Apodius GmbH want to combine a new measuring device for fiber layer orientation with an innovative laser-based repair process.
Defects in FRP pieces may be production or operation-related. Whether or not repair is cost-effective depends on the geometry of the defective area, the tools...
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
05.01.2017 | Event News
16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
16.01.2017 | Information Technology
16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering