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
Researchers discover a new link to fight billion-dollar threat to soybean production
14.02.2017 | University of Missouri-Columbia
Important to maintain a diversity of habitats in the sea
14.02.2017 | University of Gothenburg
In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering
17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering
17.02.2017 | Health and Medicine