Friday, July 28, 2017

Holy Grail of Flowers Achieved In Chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemum flowers are available in a wide array of colors - from white, to orange, red, and violet. These flowers have such a broad spectrum of colors, but never have they been blue until today. Blue-colored flowers are looked upon as the holy grail for plant breeders.  Researchers in Japan have genetically engineered the first ever blue chrysanthemum flower. Researchers believed that the blue pigment was difficult to obtain and recreate because multiple genes have shown to be involved in it generation. Researchers from Japan and India inserted two borrowed genes into the chrysanthemums and they grew into true blue flowers. One of the two genes they inserted was from Canterbury bells which started the enzymatic process, and the other was a butterfly pea gene. The scientists transformed 59% of the Taihei variety from pink or magenta to true blue flowers. The two-part gene process could possibly be used with other plants to create more variety of blue flowers.

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