Japanese Scientists Discover A Method To Considerably Slow Down Ageing…For Flowers

Don’t be fooled into thinking flowers will now be invincible. National Agriculture and Food Research Organization researchers in Tokyo claim that they have discovered methods as to how ageing in flowers can be reduced by half. They have discovered a gene ‘EPHEMERAL1’ that they believe accounts for short shelf lives of many ‘Morning glory’ flowers. That’s one variety of flowers that blooms by the day but is pretty much gone by nighttime. Kenichi Shibuya from Kagoshima University claims that the lifespan was doubled once they suppressed the ‘EPEMERAL1’ gene.

Morning glory

The plant showed fresh flowers in purple next to paler booms that were a day old. This convinced researchers that the gene responsible was related to petal ageing. Lead researcher Kenichi Shibuya believes that this experiment would help develop ways of enhancing the lives of cut flowers as well. Florists often use various chemicals to incorporate plant hormones such as ethylene that result in blooms ripening. However, flowers such as tulips and lilies do not age because of ethylene. Shibuya seems confident that a gene like ‘EPHEMERAL1’ could be causing petal ageing in those plants as well.

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