Hello - I came across a site regarding the development of a blue rose in Japan done through gene splicing with a blue pansy.
Since I’m not a computer wiz that may not work, but a search under japanese blue rose came up with the site.
Definitely seems like cheating!!
Meanwhile Henry Kelsey has blessed me with over 200 op seedlings, one already to bloom within 6 weeks of germination. These seedlings will go out in the field in June in Northern Maine to see if they survive the winter. My goal is a very hardy (-30) climber that needs no winter protection. Usually I have to bury the whole plant in the fall to try for climbing branches with only a 10% success rate, and that is with 2 of our most mild winters.
Sure is a nice lavender rose.
We saw Japan’s ‘Blue’ roses at the recent World Federation of Rose Societies in Osaka.
Unfortunately, while an interesting undertaking, the rose isn’t really blue, but lavender to the eye.
We were able to hear the official presentation during the lecture series at the convention and it appears that there are as many people that are against gene manipulation as there are for it. It would seem that those against gene manipulation fear that some kind of ‘monster’ rose would be created something akin to “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes”. Some fear that wild roses will be adversely affected by genetically enhanced rose varieties.
Flavonoids and Carotenoids are the most common pigments found in flowers. Of these, Flavonoids comprise the most important components of the color spectrum and responsible for the development of pale yellow to red to blue.
From the flavonoid biosynthesis pathway diagram, the possibility of gene splicing seems deceptively simple when in reality it really is quite difficult to obtain the desired results.
Delphinidin is the component that is commonly used to create blue flowers. Unfortunately, blue roses can’t be used to breed new roses and are not expected to transmit the blue color from Delphinidin.
It is quite possible that in future research, a different color gene will be used instead of Delphinidin and a true blue rose will result.
One of the problems breeding blue roses is pH. Rose vacuoles are acidic, which makes delphinin red. At high pH (alkaline) even cyanin turns blue (as in the cornflower).
Another attempt to produce blue roses has involved a human liver gene P450. It was not immediately successful, though, because the gene was as likely to affect the stem or thorns as the flowers. This approach is interesting because a new pigment family would allow “layering” of colors. An extreme example would be a rose variegated blue (P450) and orange (pelargonin).
if you want to hear the story of the creation of the blue rose, come to the Generose workshop www.generose.org Dr Tanaka of the Japanese company Suntory is one of the keynote speakers