Navigation Links
Engineering blue-hued flowers

ST. AUGUSTINE, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGOFlower color in plants is determined by pigments such as aurones, anthocyanins, and carotenoids. Research has found that the ultimate color displayed is dependent not only on the pigment present, but also on other factors, including cell shape, presence of metal ions, and pH, among others. Information about the role of pH in creating color has allowed plant geneticists to engineer new hues, adding to the beauty and diversity of ornamental plants.

New experiments using Anthurium andraeanum, a tropical ornamental species with a limited range of spathe colors varying from orange to red, were designed to identify the most likely candidates for generating blues in the species. The study investigated the relationship between epidermal vacuolar pH and a number of factors including cultivar, spathe color, developmental stage of the spathe, location of anthocyanin within the spathe, differences between the abaxial and adaxial surfaces, and postharvest changes. The researchers noted that their long-term objective was to develop a methodology for engineering blue-colored spathes in anthurium.

"Most studies on pH have been carried out in floral tissues and limited information currently exists for leaf tissues with the exception of bracts of Poinsettia. This is the first study of pH in anthurium spathe, a modified leaf", said Pathmanathan Umaharan, corresponding author of the study. Umaharan and colleagues Omaira Avila-Rostant and Adrian M. Lennon from the Department of Life Sciences at The University of the West Indies conducted six experiments involving 23 cultivars of anthurium. The study was published in HortScience.

Spathe color was associated with vacuolar pH with the whites and greens having the highest pH followed by corals, pinks, reds, and oranges. In general, there was a correlation between the lightness of the pigmentation and the pH values, with the lighter colors having showing pH values. The values were within the pH range suitable for producing blue hues, as previously identified in three unique plant species.

The results also showed significant differences among cultivars within color categories, varying between1% to 8%, depending on the color group. "This data indicates the importance of screening a large number of cultivars within each color group to identify those with high pH for use in bioengineering of blue flowers", explained Umaharan.

The researchers said the study suggests that corals, which have the highest pH among the color groups, may be best suited as targets for transformation because they contain lower levels of pH-reducing anthocyanins.


Contact: Michael W. Neff
American Society for Horticultural Science

Related biology news :

1. Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News reports on growing role of molecular diagnostics
2. US Senate confirms Clemson University engineering Dean Esin Gulari to National Science Board
3. University success at national engineering awards
4. NJIT professor finds engineering technique to identify disease-causing genes
5. MIT: Mending broken hearts with tissue engineering
6. Stanley to Continue Biometrics In-Service Engineering Support for U.S. Army
7. Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News reports on the trend toward predictive toxicogenomics
8. Engineering algae to make fuel instead of sugar
9. NTU undergrad is first Singapore champion of an internationally acclaimed engineering competition
10. Developer of advanced computing memory, father of biochemical engineering, and innovative engineering educators win highest engineering honors of 2009
11. Stevens receives $25,000 grant from the Engineering Information Foundation
Post Your Comments:
(Date:4/26/2016)... 27, 2016 Research and ... Biometrics Market 2016-2020"  report to their offering.  , ... The analysts forecast the global multimodal biometrics ... during the period 2016-2020.  Multimodal biometrics ... such as the healthcare, BFSI, transportation, automotive, and ...
(Date:4/14/2016)... BioCatch ™, the global ... the appointment of Eyal Goldwerger as CEO. ... Goldwerger,s leadership appointment comes at a time of significant ... of its platform at several of the world,s largest ... unique cognitive and physiological factors, is a winner of ...
(Date:3/29/2016)... , March 29, 2016 LegacyXChange, ... LegacyXChange "LEGX" and SelectaDNA/CSI Protect are pleased to announce ... used in a variety of writing instruments, ensuring athletes ... originally created collectibles from athletes on LegacyXChange will be ... of the DNA. Bill Bollander , ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Researchers at the Universita Politecnica delle Marche ... with peritoneal or pleural mesothelioma. Their findings are the subject of a new article ... Diagnostic biomarkers are signposts in the blood, lung fluid or tissue of mesothelioma patients ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016   Boston Biomedical , an industry ... to target cancer stemness pathways, announced that its ... Drug Designation from the U.S. Food and Drug ... including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. Napabucasin is an ... cancer stemness pathways by targeting STAT3, and is ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital has signed a ... serve as their official health care provider. As ... provide sponsorship support, athletic training services, and most ... athletes and families. "We are excited ... to bring Houston Methodist quality services and programs ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016  The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), a university ... to harness living systems and biotechnology, announced its winning ... New York City . ... showcased projects at MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater during the ... MoMA,s senior curator of architecture and design, and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: