Entertainment
Japan scientists find ageing cure - for flowers
Publish Date: Jul 04, 2014
Japan scientists find ageing cure - for flowers
This handout picture taken by the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) on March 17, 2013 shows a morning glory whose flowers stayed for 24 hours - violet flower. AFP/PHOTO
  • mail
  • img
newvision

Japanese scientists say they have found a way to slow down the ageing process in flowers by up to a half, meaning bouquets could remain fresh for much longer.

Researchers at the National Agriculture and Food Research Organisation in Tsukuba, east of Tokyo, said they had found the gene believed to be responsible for the short shelf-life of flowers in one Japanese variety of morning glory.

"Morning glory" is the popular name for a hundreds of species of flowering plants whose short-lived blooms usually unfold early in the day and are gone by nightfall.

By suppressing the gene -- named "EPHEMERAL1" -- the lifespan of each flower was almost doubled, said Kenichi Shibuya, one of the lead researchers in a study carried out jointly with Kagoshima University in southern Japan.

"Unmodified flowers started withering 13 hours after they opened, but flowers that had been genetically modified stayed open for 24 hours," he said.

This means the plant has fresh purple flowers alongside the paler blooms from the previous day, he said.

"We have concluded that the gene is linked to petal ageing," Shibuya told AFP by telephone on Thursday.

The finding could lead to developing methods to extend the life of cut flowers, he added.

"It would be unrealistic to modify genes of all kinds of flowers but we can look for other ways to suppress the (target) gene... such as making cut flowers absorb a solution that prevents the gene from becoming active," Shibuya said.

For some flowers, such as carnations, florists currently use chemicals to inhibit ethylene, a plant hormone which sometimes causes blooms to ripen.

But ethylene is not involved in the ageing of some popular flowers, such as lilies, tulips and irises.

A gene similar to EPHEMERAL1 could be responsible for petal ageing in these plants, Shibuya said, meaning the ability to suppress it would extend their life.AFP



 

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
At 40, Afrigo is still on the go
As part of the activities to mark 40 years, Uganda’s oldest band, Afrigo, travelled to London yesterday to celebrate their journey. Carol Natukunda brings you their success story...
AK47 was a humble star
Sometimes celebrities seem so hard to find, especially when one wants to interview them; not because they do not want to give an interview, but because they have no time....
Al Jareau winds up Cape Town Jazz Festival on a high note
The American Jazz singer was the last of more than 40 artists that put up some very inspiring performances in the 16th edition of the Cape Town Jazz Festival....
Lupita Nyong’o returns to Uganda for Queen of Katwe
In 2006, while working on a project with Maisha film lab, East Africa’s most prized film star, Kenya-born Lupita Nyong’o planted a tree at the Maisha gardens in Buziga, an upscale Kampala suburb...
Sipho
He is renowned as one of the godfathers of South African jazz; so it did not matter that he came on after 11pm, when people had been sanding for hours....
Jaguza Children’s Choir glorifes God through cultural music
Through their music, Jaguza kids highlight the pathetic conditions of most orphans in Uganda. But they also show with absolute clarity that even the most destitute children can lead a successful/productive life, if the Church, the state and civil society paid due attention to them....
Should police arrest parents who do not take their children to school?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter