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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Inheritance of Blue Flower Color in Phalaenopsis Pulcherrima

Author
item Griesbach, Robert

Submitted to: Journal of Heredity
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 1, 2005
Publication Date: July 1, 2005
Citation: Griesbach, R. J., 2005. Inheritance of blue flower color in Phalaenopsis pulcherrima. HortScience 40:238(abstract).

Interpretive Summary: There is considerable interest in developing plants with blue flowers. However, the complex nature of blue flower color has precluded the breeding of this trait in most species. Blue color results form the interaction of a pigment (anthocyanin) with a co-pigment (flavonone or flavonol) at a specific pH. At more alkaline pH’s (pH 5 to 6), an anthocyanin:co-pigment complex is blue; while at more acidic pH’s (pH 3-4), an anthocyanin:co-pigment complex is red. This paper describes a breeding scheme utilizing pH mutants to create Phalaenopsis orchid with blue flowers. This breeding scheme is based upon the selection of parents based upon their cellular pH.

Technical Abstract: Flower color results from the interaction of a pigment (anthocyanin) with a co-pigment (usually a flavonone or flavonol) at a specific pH. At more alkaline pH’s (pH 5 to 6), an anthocyanin / co-pigment complex is blue; while at more acidic pH’s (pH 3-4), the same anthocyanin / co-pigment complex is red. In Phalaenopsis pulcherrima, a mutation in pH resulted in a bluer flower color. The different in pH between the normal colored magenta flowers (pH 5.0) and violet flowers (pH 5.8) was due to a single co-dominantly inherited gene.

Last Modified: 10/20/2014
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