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Transgenic flowers


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I've come up with an idea to make transgenic flowers. My inspiration came from Glo fish, my fascination in the beauty of flowers, and being a sappy romantic. My idea is to microinject the seeds of a rose with Red Fluorescent Protein (RFP) so that when under a black light, the rose glows a beautiful red. My idea comes with a question: would this work? I've read a little, but most research for RFP is focused on animals and most research for transgenic plants focus on favorable attributes of crops. I'm not sure if this would work the same way for a flower and it would be preferable that the protein was concentrated in the petals. Any advice, enlightenment, or constructive criticism?

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The proteins will get lost pretty fast. The only way to do it is create stable transferctions. I.e. have the organisms produce the protein. Injection the protein into them is not going to achieve that.

In addition RFPs (there are quite some different flavors around) have excitation maxima around 550-600, which is well in the visible spectrum (i.e. UV would not do much). Finally the quantum efficiency is mostly bad, so you need quite a strong light source. I.e. there would not be much of a beautiful glow in the dark...

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The I was thinking of something more like the Glo fish. They are the animal version if what I want. I was thinking injecting the protein into the nucleus of a seed that hasn't germinated yet. Hopefully it would bond with the DNA and the rose would produce it's own protein from there once it grew. If this would work, it would also past the new trait to offspring. And I'm not sure about the putting dye into a cut plant. Could it be toxic to the plant? Otherwise, that's a good short term idea.

The I was thinking of something more like the Glo fish. They are the animal version if what I want. I was thinking injecting the protein into the nucleus of a seed that hasn't germinated yet. Hopefully it would bond with the DNA and the rose would produce it's own protein from there once it grew. If this would work, it would also past the new trait to offspring. And I'm not sure about the putting dye into a cut plant. Could it be toxic to the plant? Otherwise, that's a good short term idea.

I will try out dyeing a less expensive plant see what happens.

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. Hopefully it would bond with the DNA and the rose would produce it's own protein from there once it grew. If this would work, it would also past the new trait to offspring.

 

I am afraid that this is not how genetics works. You have to introduce the DNA into the germline. Not the protein.

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You are probably going to have to go lower tech. If you have the money/skills/access you could manage it. Looking up custom DNA costs would be the place to start.

 

 

Most plants will pick up a given dye in their water supply quite readily. Glycerine I just recommend so you can also preserve the result. Simpler and less expensive.

Edited by Endy0816
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  • 4 weeks later...

The genetic approach to your question would be to employ plant transformation methods (as mentioned by CharonY) such as Agrobacterium-mediated transformation or, alternatively, a so-called "gene gun." The short answer to your question is that getting the plant to express this RFP in its petals is absolutely possible, and I don't think it would be a difficult thing to do given the resources, time, money, and experience. However, transfection is a complicated business and requires a lot of trial-and-error (and a TON of post-transformation screening because these gene insertions are random!). But, yeah, it's totally do-able in a lab.

 

However, it sounds like you are talking about a home-setting (and I strongly advise you against attempting to transform your plant in your home). If it is true that you are in a home-setting, I would definitely recommend the dye idea.

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