Recently, Professor Yan Zhang from the School of Pharmaceutical Science and Technology at Tianjin University in China collaborated with Professor Yihua Chen from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and developed a biological technique to express a blue bacterial pigment (indigoidine) in the petal of a white rose, attaining a blue colour. The result was published in ACS Synthetic Biology, titled as “Cloning and Expression of a Nonribosomal Peptide Synthetase to Generate Blue Rose”. (DOI: 10.1021/acssynbio.8b00187).The research was reported on XINHUANET.
Chinese scientists use genetic technology to create blue roses
BEIJING, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- Chinese scientists are using genetic technology and synthetic biology techniques to create genetically engineered blue roses.
Blue roses do not exist in nature and cannot be bred, as roses lack the specific gene that has the ability to produce a blue color. Most blue roses in the market are created by dyeing white roses.
Scientists from Tianjin University and the Institute of Microbiology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences have been using synthetic biology techniques to engineer a bacteria that can create pigment-producing genes. They then inject the engineered bacteria into a white rose petal to generate blue flowers.
This research proves that there is a possibility of using blue pigmentation produced by bacteria to make blue roses. The team of scientists said they will also work together with gardening experts to promote the breeding of blue roses.
The research was published in the journal ACS Synthetic Biology.