Genetic dissection of scent metabolic profiles in diploid rose populations
The scent of flowers is a very important trait in ornamental roses in terms of both quantity and quality. In cut roses, scented varieties are a rare exception. Although metabolic profiling has identified more than 500 scent volatiles from rose flowers so far, nothing is known about the inheritance of scent in roses. Therefore, we analysed scent volatiles and molecular markers in diploid segregating populations. We resolved the patterns of inheritance of three volatiles (nerol, neryl acetate and geranyl acetate) into single Mendelian traits, and we mapped these as single or oligogenic traits in the rose genome. Three other volatiles (geraniol, β-citronellol and 2-phenylethanol) displayed quantitative variation in the progeny, and we mapped a total of six QTLs influencing the amounts of these volatiles onto the rose marker map. Because we included known scent related genes and newly generated ESTs for scent volatiles as markers, we were able to link scent related QTLs with putative candidate genes. Our results serve as a starting point for both more detailed analyses of complex scent biosynthetic pathways and the development of markers for marker-assisted breeding of scented rose varieties.