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First discovery of bilirubin in a flower announced
Date:9/8/2010

bilirubin to be the primary aril pigment of Strelitzia reginae and found low concentrations of bilirubin in the plant's sepals. In mature aril tissue, bilirubin was present as granular bodies irregularly distributed throughout the cell. In mature sepal tissue, the researchers observed elongate structures that were previously identified as containing carotenoids.

"This research is the first discovery of bilirubin in a flower; it verifies the presence of bilirubin in a plant species other than Strelitzia nicolai. With further research on the function, distribution, and synthesis of bilirubin in plants, the information may be useful for practical applications such as the manipulation of color through breeding and genetics", the researchers concluded.

The findings will likely have broad appeal among flower lovers, observed Lee. "When you discover something this significant about something this familiar (the Bird of Paradise flower), the story has power".


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Contact: Michael W. Neff
mwneff@ashs.org
703-836-4606
American Society for Horticultural Science
Source:Eurekalert  

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