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Scientific Breakthrough That May Change The Colours Of Our Gardens
Scientists genetically engineer the world's first blue chrysanthemums Sub-title: Kiwis need new ways to clean up as China closes dumps (CCSS Level: Grade 8, Words: 351)
Jul 28, 2017 Science & Technology
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It has taken 13 years of careful research but they are finally here - the first crop of true blue chrysanthemums.

While you may think you've seen plenty of blue blooms, according to the Royal Horticultural Society's colour scale, most "blues" are really violet or purple. True blue flowers are a rarity in nature - they occur only in a very few and select species like morning glories and delphiniums. Now, researchers have created a genuinely blue chrysanthemum by adding two genes to the normally pink or reddish flower. The breakthrough could be applied to other species - and it may mean that florists wanting to sell blooms of blue will no longer have to dye them.

Flower lovers are forever on the lookout for new colours and varieties of plants, but making popular ornamental and cut flowers, like roses, vibrant blue has proved quite difficult. "We've all been trying to do this for a long time and it's never worked perfectly," says Thomas Colquhoun, a plant biotechnologist at the University of Florida in Gainesville, who was not involved with the work.

True blue requires complex chemistry. Anthocyanins - pigment molecules in the petals, stem, and fruit - consist of rings that cause a flower to turn red, purple, or blue, depending on what sugars or other groups of atoms are attached. Conditions inside the plant cell also matter. So just transplanting an anthocyanin from a blue flower like a delphinium didn't really work.

So to create the flower, scientists took DNA from a butterfly pea and Canterbury bell and transferred it into a common plant bug. The microscopic bug then carried the blue genes into a chrysanthemum. When seeds were taken from the plant, a year after the process began, they grew and emerged with blue petals. However the flowers are not uniformly blue, as genes work weakly or strongly depending on where in a plant's DNA they are spliced. The procedure is reported in the journal Scientific Advances by the National Agriculture and Food Research Organisation in Japan.

These chrysanthemums are the first to be verified as 'true blue' by the Royal Horticultural Society.

Which flower IS naturally blue?
morning glory
lily
rose
daisy
What does the chrysanthemum flower mean in the west?
lasting friendship and non-romantic affection
enduring life and rebirth, especially the birth of a child
support from your family and loved ones
all of these
What is NOT a problem to be solved before we can plant blue chrysanthemums in our garden?
make blue chrysanthemums that can't reproduce and spread
making it possible to commercialise the transgenic flower
genetically modified flowers are difficult to develop
blue flowers are generally untested in the marketplace
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ac-cor-ding

as said by


v.根据

ad-vance

ahead of time, before something happens


v.提前

ag-ri-cul-ture

farming; cultivation of the soil for the growing of crops and animals


n.农业

an-tho-cy-a-nins

a blue, violet, or red pigment found in plants


n.花青素

at-oms

the basic units of a chemical element


n.原子

at-tached

joined or stuck to something


adj.附属

chry-san-the-mum

a popular plant of the daisy family, having brightly coloured ornamental flowers


n.菊花

com-plex

consisting of many connected parts


adj.复杂

con-di-tions

the way people live and work, especially their safety and well-being


n.条件

cre-a-ted

bring into being, make


v.创建

cult

something really popular amongst a group of people


n.礼拜    

del-phin-i-ums

a popular garden plant of the buttercup family that bears tall spikes of blue flowers


n.飞燕草/翠雀花

dif-fi-cult

hard, not easy


adj.困难

e-merged

move out of or away from something and come into view


v.出现/诞生

fin-nal-ly

in the end


adv.最后

flo-rist

a person who sells and arranges plants and cut flowers


n.花商

gen-u-ine

real,true


adj.真正

hor-ti-cul-tu-ral

relating to the growing of crops


adj.园艺

lice

small, wingless, parasitic insects that live on the skin of mammals and birds


n.虱子

men-tal

to do with the mind


adj.心理

mi-cro-sco-pic

so small as to be visible only with a microscope


adj.显微/精微的

mo-le-cule

the smallest part of a chemical


n.分子

mo-le-cules

the smallest parts of a chemical


n.分子

morn-ing glo-ries

a climbing plant often cultivated for its showy blue trumpet-shaped flowers


n.喇叭花

oc-cur

happen; take place


v.发生

or-na-men-tal

serving as decoration


adj.装饰

pet-als

each of the segments of the corolla of a flower which are typically coloured


n.花瓣儿

pig-ment

the natural colouring matter of animal or plant tissue


n.颜料/色素

pro-ce-dure

an established or official way of doing something


n.程序

pro-cess

carrying out a series of steps

 


n.处理

re-quire

need


v.要求

re-quires

needs


v.要求/需求

re-search

looking for knowledge


v.调研

re-search-er

person who searches for knowledge


n.研究员

rough

having an uneven or irregular surface; not smooth or level


adj.粗暴

scale

the size of something


n.规模

sci-en-ti-fic

based on the methods and principles of science


adv.科学

sci-en-tists

experts in science, people who study science


n.科学家

so-ci-e-ty

a social group, organized together


n.社会

spe-cies

kinds or sorts of animal


n.种类

stem

the main body or stalk of a plant or shrub, usually rising above ground


n.干茎

vi-o-let

a purplish-blue color


n.紫罗兰色