Why water lilies give off a charming scent, scientists have discovered key genes

The world famous painting “Water Lily” by Monet, France, impresses people. But why do water lilies give off a charming fragrance? How is its pleasing type of color formed? The molecular mechanism behind it remains unclear. Fujian University of Agriculture and Forestry recently announced that the international top academic journal, Nature, published online the results of the university’s Zhang Liangsheng team’s research results “water lily genome and early flowering plant evolution.” The study was the world’s first to analyze the water lily genome and found key genes that regulate the synthesis of sleeping lotus-colored flowers.

Why water lilies give off a charming scent, scientists have discovered key genes

Blue Star Water Lily InterviewS

Flowering plants are also called quilt plants, in which water lilies are important nodes in the origin and evolution of quilt plants; Known as the “plant rat” of the amoeba and rice almost no flower color fragrance, it is not possible to carry out related research, and water lily because of a variety of flowers, strong flowers, has been developed into water lily tea and perfume and other products, has important economic and cultural value, is the ideal flower fragrance research materials.

By comparing the transcription group of naturally mutated white petal blue star water lilies with blue petals, Zhang’s team found two important genes in the blue petal synthesis pathway. “With the genome, it is possible to predict the floral-flavored synthetic gene of water lilies based on comparative analysis of homologous species, from the already known floral fragrance synthesis pathway genes in model plants. Because the water lily and the pattern plant in the flower-scented composition is similar, how this similarity is caused, need to use different means to analyze the genetic differences behind, that is, to find the ‘regulation switch’. Zhang Liangsheng said.

Zhang Liangsheng, for example, such as blue star water lily blue petals are not found in many species, once know the blue and white petals “regulation switch”, can provide a target gene for molecular genetic breeding to cultivate blue petals. The new breakthrough made in this research on the molecular mechanism of water lily genome and flower color and other ornamental characteristics has an important role in promoting the basic research in the field of ornamental horticulture in China, and providing reference for the analysis of complex genomes of other horticultural crops. (Reporter Xie Kaifei, correspondent Cao Jiaxuan Chen Wei)

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