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Received the PCP Award for the Paper of Excellence of the Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists!

The "2009 Plant and Cell Physiology Award for the Paper of Excellence (PCP Award)" was received from the Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists for the paper presenting the results of research on "blue roses." This award is given to an internationally recognized creative paper that contributes to the progress of plant science from among the papers published in "Plant and Cell Physiology," an English journal of the said society. This year, the selection was made from among about 170 papers published in 2007. The listed reasons for the selection were "this paper, which is about the success of producing blue roses for the first time in the world, has a great impact and has attracted attention in the society, as an important result of applied research in plant science; this achievement, which is based on detailed studies of metabolic pathways and other mechanisms, can also be highly valued scientifically." This award shows the excellence of Suntory's research development not only in application area but also in science.

Subject paper
Engineering of the Rose Flavonoid Biosynthetic Pathway Successfully Generated Blue-Hued Flowers Accumulating Delphinidin
Plant Cell Physiology (2007) 48:1589-1600
The first author
Yukihisa Katsumoto
Abstract of the paper
In the present study, we analyzed the flavonoid composition of hundreds of rose varieties and measured the pH of their petal juice in order to select varieties that would be suitable for the accumulation of delphinidin and the resulting color change toward blue. Expression of the viola flavonoid 3', 5'-hydroxylase gene in some of the selected varieties resulted in the accumulation of a high percentage of delphinidin up to 95% and a more bluish color than those of existing roses.* For more exclusive and dominant accumulation of delphinidin irrespective of the hosts, we down-regulated the endogenous dihydroflavonol 4-reductase (DFR) gene and expressed the iris DFR gene in addition to the viola flavonoid 3', 5'-hydroxylase gene in a rose variety. The resultant roses exclusively accumulated delphinidin in the petals, and the flowers had blue hues not achieved by hybridization breeding. Moreover, the ability for exclusive accumulation of delphinidin was inherited by the next generations.
*APPLAUSE, which has been put on sale, is one of these varieties.
Related link
The blue rose paper was selected as one of the twelve "leading papers" in the Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists journal.
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