Perfume gene to restore roses' scent
Professor Givik Clark refers to this tiny rose as his proof of concept. In just a couple of weeks, he will know if 3 long years of research have paid off. The flower has been genetically egineered to give it back something it lost for generations of breeding.
Givik Clark教授称这款微小的玫瑰是他的理念的证明。几周之后，他就会知道长达三年的研究是否有所回报 。这种花经过基因改造，试图找回经过多代育种之后失去的芳香 。
Back in the old days, roses all have fragrance, but since 1950s, about 80% or 90% of flowers that are on the market like roses don't have any fragrances.
3 years ago, Clark decided to put the perfume back into the rose. The fragrance in all flowers including roses comes from the volatile chemicals they produce. Each of which has a genetical marker. But Clark had a problem. The rose is one of the most genetically complex flowers in the world. And its genome has not yet been mapped, so it couldn't begin to look for the gene that produces fragrance. Then, came his heroic moment.
三年前，Clark决定让玫瑰再次散发出芳香。包括玫瑰花在内的所有花的香味都来自它们产生的挥发性化学物质，每一种化学物质都有自己的基因标记 。但是Clark面临一个问题 。玫瑰是世界上基因最复杂的花之一 。而且科学家还没有绘制出它的基因图谱，所以不能寻找让玫瑰产生香味的基因 。然后，属于他的历史性时刻就来临了 。
The far less complicated petunia has been genetically mapped, and it contains a gene that produces rose oil, along with other genes such as wintergreen and clove oil. In combination, they produced the fragrance of petunia. But for Clark, only the rose oil gene matter. Clark and his team isolated the rose oil gene and cloned it. Then they used agro-bacterium, a bacterium that can transfer DNA between plants to add the cloned gene to genetically structure of a rose.
基因简单得多的矮牵牛花的基因图谱已经绘制出来，其中含有能够产生玫瑰油的基因，以及其他基因，比如鹿蹄草和丁香油。综合起来，它们可以产生矮牵牛花的香味 。但是对Clark来说，重要的只有玫瑰油 。Clark和他的研究小组将玫瑰油基因分离出来进行克隆 。然后他们使用土壤杆菌，一种可以转换植物之间DNA的细菌将这种克隆的基因加入玫瑰的基因结构中 。
The idea is that if we can do it, and jump species barriers, then we should be able to do it to any plants that we want to make fragrance. And now we can start talking about making design for flowers. Things that smell like mints, things that smell like, maybe more like root beer, things that are sticky,sweet. And so, we just have to now go to clone those genes out of different plants for doing what we want to do.
他们的理念是，如果我们能做到这一点，我们就可以为任何一种植物添加香味。现在，我们可以为鲜花进行设计 。比如闻上去像薄荷的鲜花，闻上去像麦根汽水的鲜花，闻上去甜甜的东西 。所以，现在只要克隆出不同植物的基因就行了 。
They say volatile chemicals that produce fragrance, produce taste as well. Clark says that if we can enhance the smell of roses, we should be able to enhance or change the taste of any food or vegetable.
We look at it and say the opportunity is limitless, you can talk about a better taste in strawberry, you can talk about a better taste in tomato. And if you make a better tasting for some vegetables, then people simply are gonna eat more of them.
For now, Clarks says after all the effort, he will be delighted if his genetically egineered flower turns out his plan. He says only then would he be able to sit back,relax and smell the roses.
Ben Gruber, Reuters.