Modified Carefree Beauty

Does anyone know if this rose is being introduced commercially?

Title: Transgenic rose lines harboring an antimicrobial protein gene, Ace-AMP1, demonstrate enhanced resistance to powdery mildew ( Sphaerotheca pannosa).

Authors: Li Xiangqian; Gasic Ksenjia; Cammue Bruno; Broekaert Willem; Korban Schuyler S

Authors affiliation: Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, 310 ERML, University of Illinois, 1201 W. Gregory, Urbana, IL, USA

Published in: Planta, volumn 218, pages 226-232, (2003 Dec).

Abstract: “An antimicrobial protein gene, Ace-AMP1, was introduced into Rosa hybrida cv. Carefree Beauty via Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. A total of 500 putative transgenic plants were obtained from 100 primary embryogenic calli co-cultivated with A. tumefaciens following selection on a regeneration medium containing 100 mg/l kanamycin. Polymerase chain reaction analysis of these putative transgenic lines, using primers for both Ace-AMP1 and neomycin phosphotransferase ( npt II) genes, showed that 62% of these plants were positive for both transgenes. These lines were further confirmed for stable integration of Ace-AMP1 and npt II genes by Southern blotting. Transcription of the Ace-AMP1 transgene in various transgenic rose lines was determined using Northern blotting. Transgenic rose lines inoculated with conidial spores of Sphaerotheca pannosa (Wallr.: Fr.) Lev. var. rosae showed enhanced resistance to powdery mildew using both a detached-leaf assay and an in vivo greenhouse whole-plant assay.”


Interesting question. Releasing a transgenic plant, particularly one that carries an antibiotic resistance, will require overcoming a lot of regulations and negative vibes in Europe. Only for a very high value product will companies go through the effort. Because we know that Carefree Beauty is an excellent pollen parent, it could transfer the genes to who knows what wild rose. I know the reuslts might be minimal but that is the basic argument against it. If you had a rose that produced no viable pollen you could make a case for releasing it. A florist’s rose, grown under license in greenhouses only, might be a viable option. And if the gene used for selection was something that only occurred in plants that would be another point in its favor. Our agronomists, plant breeders and molecular biologists run up against these issues all the time when they try to deal with field and horticultural crop plants.

I’d be very surprised if this rose got released any time in the near future – I know several professors who work with transgenic plants, and if the plant has any wild relatives it might possibly interbreed with, it is basically impossible to release the plant. And you can see their point – do we really want genes that make roses more healthy escaping into populations like R. multiflora?


I obtained a copy of the full paper today and the final sentence is:

“However, as Ace-AMP1 exhibits pesticidal activity towards pathgenic fungi, a robust safety assessment and appropriate regulatory approvals will be necessary prior to any commercial considerations.”