alexa How Basil Gets Its Zing

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How Basil Gets Its Zing

The blend of aromatic essential oils that gives fresh basil leaves their characteristic warm and sweet aroma is well characterized but not much is known about the enzymatic machinery manufacturing the odiferous mix. Researchers followed their noses and solved part of the molecular puzzle. The characteristic scent of the basil plant is due to a volatile compound called eugenol (shown in yellow), which is produced by the basil enzyme, eugenol synthase (shown in purple). Obtaining the three-dimensional structure of eugenol synthase illuminated the inner workings of the enzyme and paves the way for understanding the evolution of relatives throughout the plant kingdom and the future engineering of economically vital plant properties, including floral scent and flavor.

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For more details check Medicinal & Aromatic Plants

 
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