Florigene was previously called Calgene Pacific and was a subsidiary of Nufarm Ltd. before becoming a subsidiary of Suntory Group in 2003.
Florigene’s proprietary technologies include Blue Gene Technology and Long Vase Life Gene Technology. Products include Moonshadow, Moonvista, Moonlite, Moondust and Moonaqua in their line of genetically engineered blue carnations called Florigene Mooncarnations. Florigene Moondust was the first genetically modified floricultural crop available commercially.The blue carnations contain F3′5′H transgenes from pansy or petunia, a gene which codes for an enzyme in the pathway that produces the blue pigment delphinidin.Prolonged vase-life in carnations was developed by Florigene by down regulation of ethylene production by silencing the gene encoding ACC Synthase. This product has been perceived as less attractive than chemically treated stems.
The creation of a transgenic blue rose by Florigene and Suntory scientists was announced in 2005. The flower was mauve, rather than blue but represented a step in the development of a blue rose. Introducing an F3′5′H gene on its own produced a burgundy rose. Scientists discovered that silencing the rose dihydroflavonol reductase (DFR) gene using RNA interference (RNAi) removed competing pigments. The blue rose with developed with the delphinidin gene from blue pansy and a DFR gene from iris that favored production of delphinidin. Difference in pH or acidity in the petals of the rose prevents the pigment form being as blue as a pansy.
The blue rose called “Applause” was developed by choosing roses with petals that have high flavonol and high pH for introduction of two genes. One transgene was the pansy F3’5’H gene to favor production of delphinidin-based anthocyanins and the other was Torenia, a gene that codes for anthocyanin 5-aromatic acyltransferase to enable acylation of anthrocyanin with an organic acid. Applause went on sale in Tokyo in 2009 and was introduced into the U.S. and Canada in 2011.Applause was named the official flower of the GRAMMY’s Awards in 2018.