Roses. Genetics. Wild flowers.

Modern roses have had a crazy history of blending genes from eight to 20 species, so decoding the DNA hodgepodge has been difficult. Rose breeders have opted for “showy plants,” says molecular geneticist Mohammed Bendahmane of École Normale Supérieure in Lyon, France. In the process, fragrances dwindled, and efforts to build them back in have not been fabulous.

By decoding the genetics of an heirloom variety, a fragrant pink China rose called “Old Blush,” an international team of researchers has uncovered some new targets to tweak. That roster of genes plus an analysis of scent revealed at least 22 previously uncharacterized biochemical steps the plants can use to make terpene compounds, which help give roses their perfume, researchers reported on April 30, 2018 in Nature Genetics. (1)


Roses are red. Roses smell nice.

We will soon make them smell even better.

Because we know what controls their scent.

But we will never succeed.

Because smelling nice does not suffice.

In the future we will have the greatest roses of them all. The best roses in the history of the planet. But we will have lost our soul. Left it inside the lab, while creating roses. A world full of roses, but with no one to sit down and smell them. Because they are too pre-occupied to make them smell.

Let the roses die.

Find a wild flower to smell.

And their scent will come back…

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