Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Mii, mii, mii

Amazing. The world’s first blue moth orchid.

Masahiro Mii, a professor at the Graduate School of Horticulture, claims this Phalaenopsis, or moth orchid, is unique. It usually blooms in white, red or yellow. Cross-breeding has created hybrids, but the flower does not have a gene to create blue pigment in the petals. Until Mii. This remarkable chap and his research team extracted a gene from the Commelina communis, or Asiatic dayflower, which has blue petals, and inserted it into a cell of the Phalaenopsis. The genetically engineered plant produced a blue flower after four years of cultivation.