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Re: RE: OT Plant cell biology - red

I find it interesting that there is intense pure red in other Iridaceae.
This means that other genera not distantly related to Iris already have the
means to produce the red anthocyanins.  It would be interesting to know if
this is something inherited and shared between these Irid genera, or if it
something that has been reached independently several times.  Either way,
it would seem to give some hope to the Iris breeder.

I'm with you Neil on the idea of reaching in and grabbing the genetic
material responsible and sticking in an Iris cell.  It really isn't that
far fetched, just a matter of technology, perseverance, and so on.  It's
been done with other genes.  Hopefully it could be done in such a way that
it doesn't mess other things in the genetic code up (of course that could
have interesting results too).  Might be kind'a cool to have a bearded Iris
with a Gladiolus stalk (or corm), or perhaps with the zonal coloring of a

Can't help wondering if something like Tigridia might not be genetically
close enough to (some) Iris to simply hybridize the genes into at least
some Iris. [[probably not]]

Now to a related question.  The lycopenes in some Japanese Iris have been
pointed out through a few venues recently, but I have no idea what those
cultivars look like.  I am not aware of any red Japanese Iris.  The closest
that I know of to red in wild Iris are some markings on certain yellow
species, and I. fulva.  In both cases decidedly brownish.  Do these
Japanese Iris express the red color of the chemicals mentioned? (I'm
assuming not, based on the conclusions and chemistry in Rick Ernst's

I have to admit that an orange-red Iris in the realm of a tomato sauce
color would not be a bad thing, just not quite truly red either.  It would
certainly stand out in the garden!


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