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SCIENCE & PLANTS: The long-lasting Valentine’s gift: Scientists make roses stay fresh for a month by injecting them with a celery gene



                                  PART 1


------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:   THE LONG-LASTING VALENTINE?S GIFT: SCIENTISTS MAKE ROSES STAY FRESH FOR A MONTH BY INJECTING THEM WITH A CELERY GENE

SOURCE:  The Daily Mail, UK

AUTHOR:  

URL:     http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1356790/Valentines-Day-gift-Roses-stay-fresh-month-injected-CELERY-gene.html

DATE:    14.02.2011

SUMMARY: "Scientists have come to aid of Valentine?s Day gift buyers by injecting roses with a gene from celery which could make them last up to a month after being picked. [...] Researchers at North Carolina State University in the U.S. found that the celery gene helps roses combat botrytis or petal blight, a major disease which hits roses after they have been picked."

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THE LONG-LASTING VALENTINE?S GIFT: SCIENTISTS MAKE ROSES STAY FRESH FOR A MONTH BY INJECTING THEM WITH A CELERY GENE

Scientists have come to aid of Valentine?s Day gift buyers by injecting roses with a gene from celery which could make them last up to a month after being picked.

The experts say the breakthrough will help roses fight diseases like petal blight which shortens their ?vase life?.

Researchers at North Carolina State University in the U.S. found that the celery gene helps roses combat botrytis or petal blight, a major disease which hits roses after they have been picked.

Some fungal pathogens that infect plants produce a sugar alcohol called mannitol that interferes with the plant?s ability to block disease like petal blight, which produces wilty, mushy petals - an effect similar to what happens to lettuce when it?s been in a refrigerator too long.

In an effort to make roses live longer and to give Valentine?s Day gift buyers more value from their flowers, horticultural scientists Dr John Dole and Dr John Williamson lead an effort to insert a gene called mannitol dehydrogenase from celery to allow the plant to defend itself from one of its greatest threats.

The celery gene helps roses combat botrytis or petal blight, a major disease which hits roses after they have been picked

The celery gene helps roses combat botrytis or petal blight, a major disease which hits roses after they have been picked

Dr Williamson said: ?This gene is naturally found in many plants, but it?s uncertain whether the rose already has it. If it does, it doesn?t produce enough enzyme to help the plant fight against petal blight.?

The genetically modified roses currently growing in test beds look and smell like normal roses. They are currently being tested to see how much better they are able to fight off petal blight.

The researchers say their ultimate goal is to get roses to survive for three to four weeks after they have been harvested.

With many roses sold in florists and supermarkets coming from abroad, shipping times can reduce their vase life after they are bought.

The research is part of a wider effort to make a better rose, said Dr Dole.

Other research includes examining the types of sugars best suited to mix with water to keep the plants thriving after they have been picked and preventing other plant diseases.



                                  PART 2

------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:   ROSES ARE RED, CELERY'S GREEN AND STOPS PETAL BLIGHT WITH HELP FROM A GENE

SOURCE:  Deutsche Welle, Germany

AUTHOR:  Greg Wiser

URL:     http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,14840987,00.html

DATE:    14.02.2011

SUMMARY: "American researchers say they have set out to extend the ?vase life? of Valentine?s Day?s most iconic gift. By inserting genes from celery into roses, the scientists hope to strengthen the flower?s immune system and help it fend off disease. The rose?s biggest worry after being harvested is a fungal disease called petal blight. When the fungus known as Botrytis latches on to a rose, it can lead the plant?s petals to look mushy and gray."

----- archive: http://www.genet-info.org/information-services.html -----


ROSES ARE RED, CELERY'S GREEN AND STOPS PETAL BLIGHT WITH HELP FROM A GENE

How to make love last? US horticulturists have one answer: splice celery and rose DNA to help roses fight disease. They hope to give the symbol of love some extra staying power.

American researchers say they have set out to extend the ?vase life? of Valentine?s Day?s most iconic gift. By inserting genes from celery into roses, the scientists hope to strengthen the flower?s immune system and help it fend off disease.

The rose?s biggest worry after being harvested is a fungal disease called petal blight. When the fungus known as Botrytis latches on to a rose, it can lead the plant?s petals to look mushy and gray.

To stop the fungus, horticultural researchers from North Carolina State University in the US inserted a gene called mannitol dehydrogenase contained in celery into roses. Mannitol dehydrogenase helps fight against a sugar alcohol called mannitol, which is produced by fungal pathogens and leads flowers to wilt.

?This gene is found naturally in many plants, but it?s uncertain whether the rose already has it,? Williamson said in a press release. ?If it does, it doesn?t produce enough enzyme to help the plant fight against petal blight.?

Grapes infected with the Botrytis fungusBildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: The Botrytis fungus infects many plants, creating a wilted, gray appearanceFour-week roses

Combining celery and rose DNA is just one approach the scientists are taking to building a better rose. They?ve also examined which sugars should be mixed with the water given to roses post-harvest and studied variances in water quality around the country to see where roses live the longest.

Their ultimate goal is to produce a rose that can survive for three to four weeks after being harvested.

But lovers of the traditional, all-natural flowers have nothing to fear, according to the researchers. The roses in their test beds look and smell every bit like the run-of-the-mill versions of the plant that haven?t been genetically modified.

Top seller

The research could have an impact on the rosy prospects of the floral industry. In 2010, Germans spent a total of 3 billion euros ($4 billion) on cut flowers.

Although Valentine?s Day is a relatively new concept in Germany, flower sales in the week leading up to February 14 last year totalled between 110 and 120 million euros. And that was a bad year, said one industry representative to the dpa news agency, adding that icy weather on February 14 and distractions from Carnival hindered sales.

Among the flowers sold, roses remain king. Estimates put the number of roses imported into the country at over one billion in 2010.



                                  PART 3

------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:   FOR LONGER-LIFE, DISEASE-FREE ROSES, NC STATE RESEARCHERS INSERT CELERY GENE

SOURCE:  North Carolina State University, USA

AUTHOR:  Press Release, by Mick Kulikowski

URL:     http://news.ncsu.edu/releases/mkrose/

DATE:    10.02.2011

SUMMARY: "North Carolina State University research intended to extend the ?vase life? of roses inserts a gene from celery inside rose plants to help fight off botrytis, or petal blight, one of the rose?s major post-harvest diseases. Some fungal pathogens, the bad guys that infect plants, produce a sugar alcohol called mannitol that interferes with the plant?s ability to block disease like petal blight, which produces wilty, mushy petals ? an effect similar to what happens to lettuce when it?s been in the crisper too long."

----- archive: http://www.genet-info.org/information-services.html -----


FOR LONGER-LIFE, DISEASE-FREE ROSES, NC STATE RESEARCHERS INSERT CELERY GENE

A rose by any other name would smell ? like celery?

North Carolina State University research intended to extend the ?vase life? of roses inserts a gene from celery inside rose plants to help fight off botrytis, or petal blight, one of the rose?s major post-harvest diseases.

Some fungal pathogens, the bad guys that infect plants, produce a sugar alcohol called mannitol that interferes with the plant?s ability to block disease like petal blight, which produces wilty, mushy petals ? an effect similar to what happens to lettuce when it?s been in the crisper too long.

In an effort to make roses live longer ? and to get more value from your Valentine?s Day gifts ? NC State horticultural scientists Dr. John Dole and Dr. John Williamson lead an effort to insert a gene called mannitol dehydrogenase from celery into roses to ?chew up? mannitol and allow the plant to defend itself from one of its greatest threats.

?This gene is naturally found in many plants, but it?s uncertain whether the rose already has it,? Williamson says. ?If it does, it doesn?t produce enough enzyme to help the plant fight against petal blight.?

The genetically modified roses currently growing in NC State test beds look and smell like ?normal? roses. Now the roses will be tested to see whether they?re better able to withstand petal blight.

The research is just one part of an extensive NC State effort to build a better rose, Dole says. Other research thrusts include examining the types of sugars best suited for mixture with water to keep the plants thriving after they?ve been harvested; studying the variance in water quality across the country to see which water provides the best home for roses after they?ve been cut; and preventing various other important plant diseases.

The ultimate goal is to get roses to survive for three to four weeks after they?ve been harvested, Dole adds. Many of the roses in florists and grocery stores come from Colombia and Ecuador, so the longer shipping times can reduce vase life after purchase.

Other NC State project collaborators include Dr. Bryon Sosinski, who is working on identifying other resistance genes in the rose that could provide additional resistance to other environmental factors, and Drs. George Allen and Sergei Krasnyanski, who insert the genes of interest into rose plants.

The research is funded by Dole Food Company and the American Floral Endowment.



                                  PART 4

------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:   ROSES + CELERY GENE = LONGER ROSE VASE LIFE

SOURCE:  North Carolina State University, UASA

AUTHOR:  The Abstract, by Mick Kulikowski

URL:     http://web.ncsu.edu/abstract/science/roses-celery-gene-longer-rose-vase-life/

DATE:    14.02.2011

SUMMARY: "You buy some roses as a Valentine?s Day gift for a loved one. You bring them home and present them to your loved one. Smiles abound. Until disappointment sets in two days later, when the rose petals begin getting dark and mushy. Welcome to the world of botrytis, or petal blight. NC State horticultural scientists insert a gene from celery into roses to protect them from disease."

----- archive: http://www.genet-info.org/information-services.html -----


ROSES + CELERY GENE = LONGER ROSE VASE LIFE

You buy some roses as a Valentine?s Day gift for a loved one. You bring them home and present them to your loved one. Smiles abound. Until disappointment sets in two days later, when the rose petals begin getting dark and mushy. Welcome to the world of botrytis, or petal blight. NC State horticultural scientists insert a gene from celery into roses to protect them from disease. The roses look and smell ?normal.? To prevent this from happening, NC State horticultural scientists John Williamson and John Dole are looking at ways to extend the vase life of roses. One way of doing that is to keep diseases like petal blight at bay. So the researchers are inserting a gene from celery into roses to help fend off disease. The celery gene, mannitol hydrogenase, chews up a sugar alcohol ? called mannitol ? that interferes with the plant?s ability to defend itself. The gene showed progress in defending plants like petunias. The test roses in NC State greenhouses look and smell like ?norm
 al? roses. They?ll soon be tested for resistance to petal blight. Poetry is not The Abstract?s strong suit. Since it?s Valentine?s Day, though, we couldn?t resist:

Roses are red

Celery is green

Roses last longer

With a celery gene.