Between 1930 and 1940, Rose Scott-Moncrieff and her colleagues and collaborators published a series of ground-breaking papers in the Biochemical Journal1–3 and elsewhere4,5 which established the biochemical pathways of pigment biosynthesis in flowering plants and the genetic basis for these biochemical activities. This work was fundamental in establishing the field of biochemical genetics. This article reviews the work of Scott-Moncrieff, analyses her collaborative research style and reevaluates her place in the foundation of biochemical genetics.

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