Petunia perfume in shopping malls soon!

Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 3 – Ever fancied that the glorious petunia in your garden would scent up your attire or the wine in your home party would have a unique floral flavour? If the pace of research and advancement in plant biology highlighted at India’s first ever EMBO conference here is anything to go by, it need not any longer be on your wish list.

Such and more interesting facets of advanced research were presented at the ongoing conference organised ‘Micro and Metabolic Regulators in Plants’ jointly by Rajiv Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB) and the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO).

Expert speaker from the faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel Dr Alexander Vainstein said, “Petunia flowers have been traditionally used for their beauty and attractive colours. My experiment with petunia flowers allowed to generate highly scented flowers with strong aroma.”

Dr Vainstein was making his presentation on the topic “Specialised metabolic pathways: cues controlling floral scent production”.

“Genetically enhanced petunia has higher floral scent compounds and pigmentation, which can be commercially exploited. We also found that humans can distinguish the scent of genetically enhanced flowers, making it a lucrative proposition for the perfume industry. Use of transgenic yeast can develop wines with floral flavours,” he noted.

Prof M Radhakrishna Pillai, Director, RGCB said, “The end aim of research is to create balanced ways of making science beneficial to the human kind.  This international conference on plant biology is part of our continuing efforts in this direction.”

Scientists from countries including the US, Australia, Canada, and the UK are participating in this four-day long event until February 4.





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