Blue roses may soon be grown near you

Blue roses may soon be grown near you

What is Important?

UPSC perspective:
Prelims:Blue roses
Mains paper 3:Not Much

Why in News?

Chinese researchers claim to have created the first 'true' blue rose (although you'll have to inject a white one with bacteria to create it).


What is blue roses ?

*A blue rose is a flower of the genus Rosa (family Rosaceae) that presents blue-to-violet pigmentation instead of the more common red, white, or yellow.

*Blue roses are often portrayed in literature and art as symbols of love, prosperity, or immortality.

*However, because of genetic limitations, they do not exist in nature.

* In 2004 researchers used genetic modification to create roses that contain the blue pigment delphinidin.

*So-called "blue roses" have been bred by conventional hybridization methods, but the results, such as "Blue Moon", are more accurately described as lilac in color.

Objectives:

*For centuries, gardeners have attempted to breed blue roses with no success.

* But now, thanks to modern biotechnology, the elusive blue rose may finally be attainable.

*Researchers have found a way to express pigment-producing enzymes from bacteria in the petals of a white rose, tinting the flowers blue. They report their results in ACS Synthetic Biology.

Earlier attempts

*Although blue roses do not exist in nature, florists can produce blue-hued flowers by placing cut roses in dye.

*In a painstaking 20-year effort, biotechnologists had earlier made a “blue rose” through a combination of genetic engineering and selective breeding However, the rose is more mauve-coloured than blue.

* According to a study published in the journal ACS Synthetic Biology, researchers chose two bacterial enzymes that together can convert L-glutamine, a common constituent of rose petals, into the blue pigment indigoidine.

* The team engineered a strain of Agrobacterium tumefaciens that contains the two pigment-producing genes, which originate from a different species of bacteria.

* A tumefaciens is often used in plant biotechnology because the bacteria readily inserts foreign DNA into plant genomes.

*When the researchers injected the engineered bacteria into a white rose petal, the bacteria transferred the pigment-producing genes to the rose genome, and a blue colour spread from the injection site.

Story Source:American Chemical Society
Blue roses may soon be grown near you Blue roses may soon be grown near you Reviewed by The Hindu Current Affairs on October 14, 2018 Rating: 5

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