PAP1 transcription factor enhances production of phenylpropanoid and terpenoid scent compounds in rose flowers

New Phytol. 2012 Jul;195(2):335-345. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2012.04161.x. Epub 2012 Apr 30.


• Floral scent is a complex trait of biological and applied significance. To evaluate whether scent production originating from diverse metabolic pathways (e.g. phenylpropanoids and isoprenoids) can be affected by transcriptional regulators, Arabidopsis PRODUCTION OF ANTHOCYANIN PIGMENT1 (PAP1) transcription factor was introduced into Rosa hybrida. • Color and scent profiles of PAP1-transgenic and control (β-glucuronidase-expressing) rose flowers and the expression of key genes involved in the production of secondary metabolites were analyzed. To evaluate the significance of the scent modification, olfactory trials were conducted with both humans and honeybees. • In addition to increased levels of phenylpropanoid-derived color and scent compounds when compared with control flowers, PAP1-transgenic rose lines also emitted up to 6.5 times higher levels of terpenoid scent compounds. Olfactory assay revealed that bees and humans could discriminate between the floral scents of PAP1-transgenic and control flowers. • The increase in volatile production in PAP1 transgenes was not caused solely by transcriptional activation of their respective biosynthetic genes, but probably also resulted from enhanced metabolic flux in both the phenylpropanoid and isoprenoid pathways. The mechanism(s) governing the interactions in these metabolic pathways that are responsible for the production of specialized metabolites remains to be elucidated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anthocyanins / metabolism
  • Bees / physiology
  • Biosynthetic Pathways / genetics
  • Flowers / genetics
  • Flowers / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Genes, Plant / genetics
  • Humans
  • Odorants*
  • Pancreatitis-Associated Proteins
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism*
  • Plants, Genetically Modified
  • Propanols / metabolism*
  • Rosa / genetics
  • Rosa / metabolism*
  • Terpenes / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Transcriptional Activation / genetics
  • Volatile Organic Compounds / analysis


  • Anthocyanins
  • Pancreatitis-Associated Proteins
  • Plant Proteins
  • Propanols
  • REG3A protein, human
  • Terpenes
  • Transcription Factors
  • Volatile Organic Compounds
  • 1-phenylpropanol