We envision a resilient world dependent on the thoughtful cultivation of plants

Orange Petunias on the Loose

Articles: Orange Petunias on the Loose

African Sunset, the petunia that was never meant to be. Photo: F.D. Richards/Flickr (CC by SA 2.0)

Only someone who knew what to look for would recognize that something was wrong. But an observant plant biologist knew that the salmon-orange colored petunias growing outside of the Helsinki railway station were not natural. Samples of the plant were taken back to the lab for analysis and found to contain genetic material identical to an experimental trial done at the Max Planck Institute in 1987. In that trial a gene for pelargonidin, a red pigment found in many plants, was inserted into petunias to produce a color that would not normally be possible. A Dutch firm licensed the technology and by 1995 seed for salmon colored petunias was produced. The seed was never meant to be sold, as there wasn’t a market for genetically modified plants in the European Union. However, some of the altered petunias made it into conventional breeding programs in the United States where subsequent varieties with unusual colors were produced and sold; U.S. seed has since been destroyed. Although believed to be harmless, this escap...

READ THE WHOLE STORY


Join now to access new headline articles, archives back to 1977, and so much more.

Enjoy this article for FREE:

Articles: Calochortophilia: A Californian’s Love Affair with a Genus by Katherine Renz

If you are already a member, please log in using the form below.

Share:

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

Social Media

Garden Futurist Podcast

Most Popular

Videos

Topics

Related Posts

Pacific Plant People: Carol Bornstein

Spring 2022 Public gardens play a key role in demonstrating naturalistic planting design, selecti… READ THE WHOLE STORY Join now to access new headline articles,

Powered By MemberPress WooCommerce Plus Integration

Your free newsletter starts here!

Don’t want to see this pop-up? Members, log-in here.

Why do we ask for your zip code?

We do our best to make our educational content relevant for where you garden.

Why do we ask for your zip code?

We do our best to make our educational content relevant for where you garden.

The information you provide to Pacific Horticulture is NEVER sold, shared, or rented to others.

Pacific Horticulture generally sends only two newsletters per Month.