Roses... timeless symbols of romance that come in a wide variety of colors from rich red through pretty pink to golden yellow and snowy white. But not blue... until now!
Geneticists from Australia's Florigene Ltd., a wholly owned (98.5%) subsidiary of Japanese drinks manufacturer Suntory Ltd., first cracked the code for creating blue roses in 2004. Since then, they have been refining the process to the point where true blue roses can be sold to a public eager to possess the once "impossible dream".
Examples of the roses on display in Tokyo displayed a soft mauve tint that Florigene scientists say is just the starting point for what will be a variety of bluish shades.
By inserting genes from the common Pansy and Iris into Rose DNA while at the same time switching off a Rose gene that prevented the production of the blue pigment known as "delphinidin", the legendary flower of love will be able to synthesize and express a full range of hues from palest baby blue to deep navy.
Suntory spokesman Kazumasa Nishizaki, responding to questions about the new blue rose, said "As its price may be a bit high, we are targeting demand for luxurious cut flowers."
Patriotic rose bouquets could also be marketed now that red, white & blue roses could be used. Suntory hopes to sell up to several hundred thousand blue roses a year and is working with Florigene to grow the roses in Australia.
Of course, the greatest demand for blue roses would likely be from individuals wanting to express their love in the traditional manner - and since blue roses are said to signify fantasies, they should be quite popular indeed! (via Yahoo! News, Hypography Science Forums and Suntory)
Japanese Innovations Writer