Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Smell the Roses While You Can


One of the several mechanisms that plants use to attract pollinators is scent. Petals can produce volatile compounds, essential oils that evaporate in warm temperatures, such as methylbenzoate. However, according to Natalia Dudareva at Purdue University floral scents are slowing disappearing. Increased fragrances tend to reduce life span, and as humans have selected for a longer shelf life flowers have started to lose their scent.  Dudareva is looking at the genes that are involved with producing scents, which is important for florists as well as to help crops get pollinated. 

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