Gene responsible for fragrance, safety against pathogens in lavender found

| | New Delhi
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Gene responsible for fragrance, safety against pathogens in lavender found

Monday, 17 June 2024 | Pioneer News Service | New Delhi

In a discovery that is particularly significant for India, which is exploring lavender cultivation as part of the Aroma Mission launched in 2016, a team of researchers has found that gene, LaMYC7, plays a crucial role in the aromatic plants for enhancing its distinctive both the fragrance as well as safeguarding the plant against pathogens, a team of researchers has found.

Understanding the genetic mechanisms of lavender’s aromatic and defense properties can help breeders develop more resilient varieties with higher essential oil yields given that many farmers in Kashmir under the Mission supervised by the Central Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) are starting to cultivate the crop, often growing it alongside apple orchards..

The study published in the journal Horticulture Research is conducted by a team from the State Key Laboratory of Plant Diversity and Specialty Crops at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The researchers explained that the LaMYC7 transcription factor regulates the biosynthesis of key terpenoids, such as linalool and caryophyllene, which are responsible for lavender’s characteristic aroma. These terpenoids also play a vital role in the plant’s defense mechanisms against pathogens, particularly Pseudomonas syringae, a significant threat to plant health.

Talking about the research techniques, they said they employed advanced techniques including RNA sequencing, transgenic technology, and enzyme assays to explore the function of LaMYC7. These methods revealed that LaMYC7 enhances terpenoid biosynthesis, thereby boosting lavender’s resistance to pathogens, said the study.

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