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Blue roses may soon be grown in gardens

Press Trust of India  |  Beijing 

It may soon be possible to breed blue in your garden, say scientists who have found a way to express pigment-producing enzymes from bacteria in the petals of a rose.

Researchers including those from and in China wanted to develop a simple process that could produce a true-

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

In a painstaking 20-year effort, biotechnologists had earlier made a "blue rose" through a combination of and selective breeding.

However, the rose is more mauve-coloured than blue.

According to a study published in the journal Synthetic Biology, researchers chose two bacterial enzymes that together can convert L-glutamine, a common constituent of rose petals, into the blue 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 because the bacteria readily inserts foreign DNA into plant genomes. When the researchers injected the engineered bacteria into a rose petal, the bacteria transferred the pigment-producing genes to the rose genome, and a blue colour spread from the

Although the colour is short-lived and spotty, the team states that the rose produced in this study is the world's first engineered They say that the next step is to roses that produce the two enzymes themselves, without the need for injections.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, October 13 2018. 15:15 IST