Scientists find what makes a rose smell sweet

Over the centuries, roses have been bred for longer blooms and petals in every hue. However, this has dulled the smell of the flower. Now, researchers know where to tinker in the genome to enhance the scent.
Over the centuries, roses have been bred for longer blooms and petals in every hue. However, this has dulled the smell of the flower. Now, researchers know where to tinker in the genome to enhance the scent.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

New study maps a more complete version of the flower's genome and family tree

The scent of a rose fades over time, and has for hundreds of years.

For centuries, generations of breeding in the quest for longer blooms and petals in shades of nearly every hue have dulled the sweetest smells that once perfumed gardens around the world.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 10, 2018, with the headline 'Scientists find what makes a rose smell sweet'. Print Edition | Subscribe