Monoterpenes are an important class of terpenoids that are commonly present in plant essential oils. These can be extracted from plants and are used in the flavouring and perfumery industry. Monoterpene synthases are the key enzymes in monoterpene biosynthesis, as they catalyse the cyclisation of the ubiquitous geranyl diphosphate (GDP) to the specific monoterpene skeletons. Tobacco is one of the most studied model plants, it can easily and efficiently be transformed, and is a suitable model to study the release of plant volatiles. Thus, we have isolated monoterpene synthases from lemon, transformed tobacco with these cDNAs and have used human panelists to study the change in fragrance of the transgenic in comparison to the wild type plants. In a triangle test, we found that subjects were capable of smelling significant differences between leaf samples. However, as a result of variability in panel ratings, no significant difference between two sets of transgenic flowers and the wild type tobacco flowers was found for the generated attributes in a descriptive test.
- linalool synthase