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Give Your Mom a Color-Changing Petunia for Mother's Day!

May 10, 2015

Nikolai Braun and Keira Havens of Revolution Bioengineering have figured out a way to genetically engineer certain flowers to cause them to transition from one color to another.

Together, they’ve created a new breed of petunia that can change from white to red, and back again, whenever you want. Here is how the science behind the color-changing flower works:

“Most flower color is the result of anthocyanins, small molecules naturally produced in large quantities by a biosynthetic pathway. In white flowers, this pathway is often broken – an enzyme doesn’t work as expected and the flower cannot produce anthocyanins. If we know what enzyme isn’t working, we can use biotechnology to fix the broken pathway by expressing the enzyme.”

According to their site, they buy 11 million petunias each year.  They’re easy for scientists to work with and have been studied for decades. As plant scientists fascinated with color, petunias are the perfect choice to build a whole new garden full of new and engaging experiences.  

Petunia Circadia from SUPEREGO on Vimeo.

Read all about Revolution Bioengineering and their color-changing flowers on their blog page.  Enjoy reading their most recent blog From color-changing flowers to deer-resistant tulips here.

For Mother's Day 2015, visit here to learn how to give the gift of a color-changing flower: