World's first blue chrysanthemum: world record set in Japan (VIDEO)
TOKYO, Japan -- After 13 years of extensive research, scientists in Japan have created the world's first blue chrysanthemums; the team had a breakthrough when they combined the DNA of three plants, according to the World Record Academy.
Photo: Japanese scientists have created the world's first blue chrysanthemums. After 13 years of research, the team had a breakthrough when they combined the DNA of three plants. Photo: Naonobu Noda/NARO (enlarge photo)
The Guinness World Records world record for the most chrysanthemum blooms on a single stem is 4,351 and was achieved by Yoshiteru Nomura (Japan) at All Japan Chrysanthemum Exhibition, Izumi-shi, Osaka, Japan, on 4 November 2011. The chrysanthemum plant measured 4.5 m (14ft 9 in)high and 2.2 m (7 ft 2 in) wide.
Guinness World Records also recognized the world record for the longest flower structure; it is 166.15 m (545 ft 1.3 in) and was achieved by the Organizing Committee of the 10th China Chrysanthemum Exhibition (China) at an event held in Kaifeng City, Henan Province, China, on 18 October 2010.
The chrysanthemums are the first to be verified as true blue by The Royal Horticulture Society. Many other flowers that appear to be blue are actually various shades of violet or purple.
The scientists managed to transfer the DNA of a butterfly pea and a Canterbury Bell to a chrysanthemum using a microscopic bug. Blue genes were extracted from the plants and placed in the bug, which carried the DNA to the chrysanthemum. Seeds taken from the plant a year later produced a chrysanthemum with blue petals.
"Chrysanthemums are the second best-selling cut flowers after roses in the world," said lead author Naonobu Noda.
"Our blue chrysanthemums have a novel and natural blue color, which has been confirmed as true blue."
Early attempts to create blue chrysanthemums using the Canterbury bell produced violet-colored flowers. The secret was adding the second plant, the bright butterfly pea.
The experiment is published in the journal Scientific Advances by the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization in Japan.