, Volume 226, Issue 4, pp 853–866 | Cite as

Both the adaxial and abaxial epidermal layers of the rose petal emit volatile scent compounds

  • Véronique Bergougnoux
  • Jean-Claude Caissard
  • Frédéric Jullien
  • Jean-Louis Magnard
  • Gabriel Scalliet
  • J. Mark Cock
  • Philippe Hugueney
  • Sylvie Baudino
Original Article


The localization and timing of production and emission of scent was studied in different Rosa × hybrida cultivars, focusing on three particular topics. First, it was found that petals represent the major source of scent in R. × hybrida. In heavily scented cultivars, the spectrum and levels of volatiles emitted by the flower broadly correlated with the spectrum and levels of volatiles contained within the petal, throughout petal development. Secondly, analysis of rose cultivars that lacked a detectable scent indicated that the absence of fragrance was due to a reduction in both the biosynthesis and emission of scent volatiles. A cytological study, conducted on scented and non-scented rose cultivars showed that no major difference was visible in the anatomy of the petals either at small magnification in optical sections or in ultrathin sections observed by TEM. In particular, the cuticle of epidermal cells was not thicker in scentless cultivars. Thirdly, using two different techniques, solid/liquid phase extraction and headspace collection of volatiles, we showed that in roses, both epidermal layers are capable of producing and emitting scent volatiles, despite the different morphologies of the cells of these two tissues. Moreover, OOMT, an enzyme involved in scent molecule biosynthesis was localized in both epidermal layers.


Floral scent Petal epidermis Rosa Terpenes Volatiles 





Orcinol O-methyltransferase


Transmission electron microscopy



We thank Isabelle Anselme-Bertrand (Centre de Microscopie Electronique Stéphanois) for her help on the ESEM. We are indebted to Martine Hossaert-McKey (Centre d’Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive, CNRS, Montpellier) and Marie-Charlotte Anstett (Institut des Sciences de l’Evolution, Université Montpellier 2) for the help with the headspace apparatus. We also thank Frédéric Pautz (Jardin Botanique de la Ville de Lyon), Charles Broizat (Hortirose), Pierre Orard and Meilland Richardier who allowed us to cut roses in their collection. We also would like to thank Florence Gros and David Roujol for technical assistance. This work was supported by the Région Rhône-Alpes, France.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Véronique Bergougnoux
    • 1
  • Jean-Claude Caissard
    • 1
  • Frédéric Jullien
    • 1
  • Jean-Louis Magnard
    • 1
  • Gabriel Scalliet
    • 2
  • J. Mark Cock
    • 3
  • Philippe Hugueney
    • 2
  • Sylvie Baudino
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Biotechnologies Végétales, Plantes Aromatiques et Médicinales, EA 3061Université Jean MonnetSaint-Etienne Cedex 2France
  2. 2.Laboratoire Reproduction et Développement des PlantesUMR 5667 CNRS-INRA-ENSL-UCBL, IFR128 Bioscience Lyon-Gerland, Ecole Normale Supérieure de LyonLyon Cedex 07France
  3. 3.UMR 7139 CNRS-Goëmar-UPMC, Végétaux Marins et Biomolécules, Station BiologiqueRoscoff CedexFrance

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