Researchers Visualize Floral Scent for First Time
Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology announced they succeeded in real-time visualization and measurement of floral scent emission for the first time in the world. Using optical interferometry, research teams led by mechanical engineering professor Kim Hyoung-soo and biological sciences professor Kim Sang-gyu measured the frequency with which lily flowers emit scents.
Floral scent sampling methods using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry have been used to measure the quality and quantity of floral volatiles, but they revealed little about the emission patterns of floral scents.
“By analyzing the refractive index difference between volatile organic compounds and ambient air, we were able to visualize the accumulation of volatile vapors,” the scientists wrote in their research article titled “Real-time Visualization of Scent Accumulation Reveals the Frequency of Floral Scent Emissions.”
“Based on these real-time measurements, we found that lily flowers emit volatile compounds discontinuously, with pulses observed around every 10-50 minutes,” the scientists stated in a recent press release.
The technology they developed to observe the floral scent emission patterns will be used to identify the genes involved in the biosynthesis and emission of floral volatiles, as well as in research on the evolution of floral scent compounds through interactions with pollinators.
If one could control the floral scent emissions, it would help enhance horticultural and agricultural production. Further testing is needed to confirm these technological capacities.
“If the technology that visualizes vapors or gas in air can be further developed, we would be able to see how much hazardous noxious substances exist in a certain space, and the technology can be expanded for industrial or military purposes,” professor Kim stated.
Source: Kim So-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)