Flower Color Changed Using Gene-Editing Technology in World First

UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — A rose is a rose is a rose but what about if scientists have tinkered with its DNA?

For the first time, scientists used CRISPR gene-editing technology to change the color of a flower.

The experiment took place in Japan. Scientists changed the color of a Japanese morning glory plant from violet to white.

A report published in the journal Scientific Reports explains how it worked.

The CRISPR technique allows scientists to snip DNA and essentially cut and paste genes of their choosing.

For this study, scientists targeted a single gene in the plant that encodes for an enzyme responsible for the color of its stems, leaves and flowers.

They used the CRISPR technique to very carefully snip the gene, which deactivated the enzyme and caused a loss of pigment. This resulted in a plant with white flowers.

Researchers say the study shows how precise CRISPR can be.