Genetic engineering of novel flower colors in floricultural plants: recent advances via transgenic approaches

Methods Mol Biol. 2010;589:325-47. doi: 10.1007/978-1-60327-114-1_29.


Since the first successful genetic engineering of flower color in petunia, several new techniques have been developed and applied to modify flower color not only in model plants but also in floricultural plants. A typical example is the commercial violet-flowered carnation "Moondust series" developed by Suntry Ltd. and Florigene Ltd. More recently, blue-flowered roses have been successfully produced and are expected to be commercially available in the near future. In recent years, successful modification of flower color by sophisticated regulation of flower-pigment metabolic pathways has become possible. In this chapter, we review recent advances in flower color modification by genetic engineering, especially focusing on the methodology. We have included our own recent results on successful production of flower-color-modified transgenic plants in a model plant, tobacco and an ornamental plant, gentian. Based on these results, genetic engineering of flower color for improvement of floricultural plants is discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carotenoids / genetics
  • Color*
  • Flowers / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant*
  • Genetic Engineering*
  • Pigments, Biological / biosynthesis
  • Pigments, Biological / genetics*
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / genetics*


  • Pigments, Biological
  • Carotenoids