Thursday, April 17 2014

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The World's First Biotechnology-driven "Blue Roses" -synonym for the impossible - have been successfully developed

SUNTORY Holdings LIMITED has successfully developed the world's first biotechnology-driven "blue rose".

Roses have been grown for a long time - 5,000 years or more. It is said that the varieties developed to more than 25,000 species and a wide variety of colours exists including red, white, pink and yellow. For a long time, breeders have been trying to develop blue roses, which have long been synonym for the impossible.In an effort to achieve this breeders have been crossing rose varieties grown all around the world. As a result, there are so-called 'blue' roses already on the market. However, blue roses, derived from the presence of blue pigment, have not yet come into being. It has been revealed that this is a result of the fact that in rose petals genes encoding the enzyme that is necessary to create the blue pigment, "Delphinidin", are not functional (the enzyme is known as flavonoid 3'5'-hydroxylase).

SUNTORY with Florigene Pty. Ltd. started the joint development of biotechnology-driven "blue roses". Since then both groups have been pursuing research to develop "blue roses" by retrieving the genes necessary to create blue pigments from other plants, such as petunia, and implanting these into roses.

For the first time in the world, SUNTORY has succeeded in creating blue pigment in roses by implanting the gene that leads to the synthesis of blue pigment from pansy. Unlike the roses created by using conventional breeding technologies, the roses developed by us have almost 100%* Delphinidin in their petals, which has allowed these new and very different blue roses to become a reality. Although traditional roses have only red pigments, by using the blue roses we have developed as a starting point, it is expected that roses with the ability to create a blue pigment will soon lead more variety in rose flower colour.

The SUNTORY GROUP will continue research and development to make blue roses "bluer". The roses have been evaluated and approved based on the "Act concerning Maintenance of Diversity of Organisms regulated by Use of Genetically-Modified Organisms" ( and we will consider merchandising after production, distribution, and sales structures have been properly established. The SUNTORY GROUP was established in 1899 and since then has been aggressively developing new businesses maintaining its "spirit of challenge". In this vein SUNTORY opened the way for the successful marketing of well-known marks of "whisky", "draft beer", and not being confined to producing alcoholic beverages, has also expanded into the soft drink business, the flower business, the health food business, cultural and sports activities. In addition business sphere has been expanded to Europe, Asia and North America. We will continue our global business and efforts to create innovative products showing our "spirit of challenge".

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