People love to have floral arrangements in wedding venues, eateries, hotels and so on. However, some individuals are allergic to flowers and this can cause them problems. Therefore, in order to ensure they do not create problems for their customers, many bosses choose to take advantage of artificial flowers as these creations do not provoke any such reaction.
Meanwhile, scientists have been developing pollen-free flowers that have similar benefits. New research published in BioMed Central’s open access journal BMC Plant Biology reveals that two bacterial genes have been targeted into the ornamental plant Pelargonium.
Those behind the study suggest this can produce long-lived and pollen-free plants.
Teams from the Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular de Plantas (IBMCP) and BIOMIVA combined to conduct the research.
Dr Luis Cañas from the IBMCP said: “The use of an anther-specific promoter from pea driving the expression of a bacterial gene (ribonuclease), prevents the development of male progenitor cells into anthers and pollen, resulting in pollen-free flowers.”
The scientists noted that as well as being good news for hay fever sufferers, the pollen-free flowers can also prevent the accidental release of transgenes into the environment. However, the plants still have to be watered.
In contrast, artificial flowers require no maintenance whatsoever, making them popular among individuals and organisations that want floral arrangements that do not need any looking after. Once people have placed the flowers in their intended positions, they can simply leave them there until they want to move or replace them.
They do not have to worry about feeding and watering the arrangements. This is perfect for busy organisations that need their premises to look the part, but do not have the time or inclination to tend to real plants and flowers.
It seems as though the popularity of artificial flowers will remain high for a long time to come.