Allergy sufferers can rejoice! No more red, itchy eyes! No more sneezing and wheezing! They can say good bye to pollen, the culprit behind all the allergies. At least for a new variety of geranium, anyways. Scientists from the University of Plant and Cellular Biology in Valencia, Spain have created pollen-free geraniums.
Cultivating and breeding geraniums isn’t anything new. Gardeners have been doing it since the 17th century. The pollen-free flowers were a result of genetic modification. Scientists used GM technology to introduce 2 new genes into the species. One gene destroyed the pollen-producing part of the flower head and the other one increased the production of an anti-aging hormone.
As a result, they have created a geranium that’s longer lasting and pollen free! The GM geranium have smaller blooms and leaves than the average geranium. But the colours were brighter and the leaves lived three times longer than usual. This is also good news for gardeners who want to enjoy their flowers as long as possible.
At this time, geraniums were the only flowers that were used in this experiment. But with the success of this technology, other flowers could benefit from the same application, especially high-pollen producing flowers like lilies.
News source: DeccanHerald.com