CABI Blog

Genetically modified? Yes, GM bouquets could be the future of floristry, with consumers demanding more choice in flower colour, Australian company Florigene are hoping to import and market their GM carnation Moonaqua™. The flower is the lightest shade in Florigene’s Moonseries range being pale lilac in colour, created by modifying genes in the anthocyanin biosynthesis pathway to enable production of delphinidin.

Inspired by researching my previous blog My love is like a blue blue rose I delved once again into CAB abstracts to unearth some more background info. – it seems the passion for understanding blue flower colour has spread much further than I’d previously thought, I found papers on a large variety list of species:

Eustoma grandiflorum 
Meconopsis grandis
Phacelia campanularia 
Dianthus caryophylla 

to name but just a few. The papers give an insight into blue flower colour development, with studies varying from the phytochemical to the genetic (identification of anthocyanins, petal pH, presence of metal ions, etc.).

The more I look at the new conventionally-bred blue garden plants on the market I realise that the term blue can actually be taken with a large dose of the proverbial salt as many of the flowers appear more lilac or even pink! So if you really do want to add a blue novelty to your garden then it may be best to look carefully at the cultivar description (as many come with a RHS colour code) so you can check the colour on the RHS colour chart first.

1 Comment

  1. Jenn on 29th April 2008 at 3:26 pm

    I think thats rediculas thought. Genetically modifying the flowers would just only take their fragance & beauty out. Flower’s are gods creatures & the beauty of them will persist if we dont interfere with gods creations. It might look more beautiful & attractive initially but after days, it will turn to be monotonus & robotic rather then the natural beauty of flowers we see right now.

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