Genetic improvement of flower colour
Authors: Dibosh Bordoloi1, Utpal Roy1, Nabarun Roy2, Amrit Tamully1
1Dept. of Plant Breeding and Genetics, Assam Agricultural University, Jorhat, Assam, India-785013
2Dept. of Agricultural Biotechnology, Assam Agricultural University, Jorhat, Assam, India-785013

Flower colour can attract pollinators and protect floral organs. Furthermore, people enjoy these colours in daily life. For ornamental plants, flower colour is an important quality determinant that not only affects the ornamental merit of a plant but also directly influences its commercial value. Although there is a wide range of natural flower colours, colours are limited in some important ornamental plants. For example, Chinese rose and chrysanthemum lack blue and herbaceous peony and cyclamen lack yellow. Therefore, making flower colour improvements has always been an important goal for breeders.
Researchers have found that the development of flower colour is related to petal tissue structure, pigment distribution and its types; it can be regulated through environmental factors and genetic engineering. Flower colours are of paramount importance in the ecology of plants and in their ability to attract pollinators and seed dispersing organisms. Florigeneā€™s Moonseries of genetically engineered carnations, marketed in the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan, and some European countries, provide the first genetically engineered commercial flowers. Three types of chemically distinct pigments, betalains, carotenoids and anthocyanins are responsible for the colours of flowers.

Role of colour
• Attraction of pollinators
• Function in photosynthesis
• In human health as antioxidants and precursors of vitamin A
• Seed dispersal
• Protecting tissue against photo oxidative damage
• Resistant to biotic and abiotic stress
• Symbiotic plant-microbe interaction
• Act as intermediary for other compounds

Why we need modification in colour?
- Modification in flower colour of a variety with desirable agronomic or consumer characteristics
Ex: A white carnation from preferable red-flowering variety
- A flower colour not occurring naturally in a particular crop
Ex: Blue colour in rose, carnation, orchids
- Change in trend for colour season to season, year to year
- High price for Novel colour.
Ex: The price for a single blue rose is about $22 to $33

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About Author / Additional Info:
I am pursuing my PhD degree in plant breeding and genetics at AAU, Jorhat, Assam, India -785013.