Japanese researchers develop the world’s first blue chrysanthemum


 

A photo shows blue chrysanthemums developed through genetic engineering (along with the Royal Horticultural Society’s color chart). National Agriculture and Food Research Organization

A photo shows blue chrysanthemums developed through genetic engineering (along with the Royal Horticultural Society’s color chart). National Agriculture and Food Research Organization

TOKYO, Aug. 7 – A research team of the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization and Suntory Global Innovation Center has finally succeeded in developing the world’s first blue chrysanthemum.

Chrysanthemums do not have blue flower varieties in nature, so the researchers used genetic engineering technology, using two types of genes taken from blue-flowering Canterbury bells and butterfly peas to turn chrysanthemum flowers blue.

“Now that we can offer more color variations, we hope the demand for chrysanthemums at ceremonial occasions as well as for gifts will grow,” said an organization official.

The organization, which has been engaged in the development of blue chrysanthemums since 2001, will conduct further research to reduce the risk of the flower crossbreeding with wild species, so that blue chrysanthemums can be cultivated and marketed in Japan.

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