Yissum - Research Development Company of the Hebrew University

Plant Scent Enhancement

Posted by Yissum - Research Development Company of the Hebrew UniversityResponsive · Innovative Products and Technologies · Israel

Summary of the technology

Keyword: Fragance
Project ID : 8-2007-1848

Description of the technology

Genetic modification leading to increased day/nighttime scent production 10-fold


Agriculture, Transgenic Plants, Flowers/Ornamental Plants, Fragance

Development Stage

Controlled modification demonstrated in commercial crop

Patent Status

U.S patent application filed

Market Size

The global cut flower business is growing by 20 per cent a year.


  • Breeding for other qualities has resulted in the loss of scent in many flowers and plants.
  • Genetically enhancing production of scent compounds and changing the plant’s rhythm of volatile scent compound production to a continuous steady state so that daytime scent production is essentially at the same level as nighttime production.

Our Innovation

Genetic modification leading to an up to tenfold increase in the production of volatile phenylpropanoid compounds, irrespective of the plant’s endogenous rhythm of scent production.

Key Features

  • Increases level of plant-pollinator interactions
  • Enables the creation of novel genetic varieties for breeding purposes
  • Increases plant/flower’s commercial appeal

Development Milestones

  • To identify target commercial varieties and to generate plants with the desired traits

The Opportunity

  • Over a third of participants in Flowers and Plants Association surveys stated that scent influenced their choice of flower purchase.
  • Floral scents are one of the most popular smells and the perfume industry expends a great deal of effort trying to reproduce the authentic fragrance of fresh flowers.
  • Israel is the Middle East’s flower-producing superpower. Its flower, plant and propagation-material exports bring upward of $200 million into the economy annually. The country is third only to the Netherlands and Kenya in supplying the EU with flowers. Each year 1.5 billion stems are exported, twice as many as only 10 years ago.

Project manager

Amichai Baron
VP, Head of Business Development, Agritech & Envir

Project researchers

Alexander (Sasha) Vainstein
HUJI, Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences
Plant Sciences and Genetics

Related keywords

  • Agriculture
  • Agro chemicals
  • Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, Animal Husbandry and Related Products
  • Agricultural genetic engineering applications
  • Agricultural chemicals
  • agriculture
  • plant genetics

About Yissum - Research Development Company of the Hebrew University

Technology Transfer Office from Israel

Yissum Research Development Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Ltd. Founded in 1964 to protect and commercialize the Hebrew University’s intellectual property. Ranked among the top technology transfer companies, Yissum has registered over 8,900 patents covering 2,500 inventions; has licensed out 800 technologies and has spun-off 90 companies. Products that are based on Hebrew University technologies and were commercialized by Yissum generate today over $2 Billion in annual sales.

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