Saturday, March 5, 2011

Celery Rose

After being picked, if given proper care, a rose might last about two weeks before wilting. Petal blight - the reason for wilting - is caused by invading fungal pathogens that produce a sugar alcohol called mannitol, which breaks down the flower's defense system. It turns out that the enzyme mannitol dehydrogenase, found abundantly in celery, improves the life of rose petals when the gene responsible for its production is spliced into the rose genome. North Carolina State's Dr. Dole and Dr. Williamson are leading the research aiming to create a hybrid rose that is more resistant to disease.

The roses won't smell or feel any different, the only thing that should change is their vase life. "This gene is naturally found in many plants, but it's uncertain whether the rose already has it," said Williamson. "If it does, it doesn't produce enough enzyme to help the plant fight against petal blight." The team is also studying the type of sugar-water mixture that would best suit the rose after being harvested.

Ultimately, they are hoping to double the survival time of your generic flower shop rose. This could have a huge impact on the flower industry, especially when you consider that 1.2 billion rose stems are sold within the USA annually.

1 comment:

Jennifer richard said...

great blog posted by you