What is it about?

Geraniol, that give unique fragrance to rose was assumed to be generally synthesized in plastids by a geraniol synthase. However, in roses, geraniol synthesis depends on a cytosolic NUDX1-1 which converts GPP to GP. The origin of cytosolic GPP in rose flowers, which is generally formed in plastids of other plants, was investigated. Results supported that GPP is produced essentially through the mevalonic acid pathway in rose flowers by a bi-functional FPPS-like G/FPPS1 synthase of which the activity is conserved in Rosaceae species such as strawberry. This enzyme also provides precursors for the biosynthesis of sesquiterpenes such as germacrene D and ionols making it an essential players in the biosynthesis of terpene volatiles in rose flowers.

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Why is it important?

This discovery highlights that plants have evolved a cytosolic route to produce GPP while keeping their ability to produce FPP. This G/FPPS activity was found to be highly conserved in Rosaceae species which may use this route to produce monoterpenes which are important to fruits aroma. The question if other plants have developped such a capacity is discussed.


The general dogma on the biosynthesis of terpene precursors has been well documented. Here we show that Rosaceae species have developped an alternative route. This phenomenon might more widespread than originaly assumed so far and further studies might show that other species in plant kingdom might also use this strategy.

Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique

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This page is a summary of: A cytosolic bifunctional geranyl/farnesyl diphosphate synthase provides MVA-derived GPP for geraniol biosynthesis in rose flowers, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, May 2023, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2221440120.
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