The secrets of a flower known as the poet Narcissus fell to science.
The genetic code of the chloroplasts of daffodils – the DNA responsible for photosynthesis – is mapped for the first time.
Narcissus poeticus Was one of the first daffodils to be processed, and is linked to the Greek legend of Narcissus.
In Greek mythology, the flower bearing his name appears in the place where he died.
Researchers from the Royal Society for Horticulture and the University of Reading have deciphered the genetic code of the chloroplasts – where the energy from sunlight becomes food via photosynthesis.
Facts of daffodils
- Narcissus has long been considered one of the precursors of spring.
- They can be planted in borders and containers.
- The Latin name of the plant family is Narcissus
- Some species hybridize in nature, and many garden crosses between the species have brought a wide variety of hybrid and hybrid hybrids.
The study could solve the problem of how to make sure daffodils bulbs planted in large quantities come in the same color.
There are more than 1,500 different types of daffodils, and their bulbs all look the same.
Gardeners are sometimes disappointed when the bulbs are planted in autumn and come to a different color next spring.
John David, head of taxonomy and gardening at RHS, said chloroplast DNA is a good way to find a specific marker for a particular strain (a variety plant that was produced in cultivation by selective breeding).
"This is an exciting first step in identifying narcissus species at the point where they are most popular but when there is nothing to tell them apart," he said.
"With so many bulbs due to being planted this autumn is a huge industry and hopefully our work may prevent disappointment for professionals who have grown en masse and gardeners who often seek their favorites tested and tested."
The study is published in the journal, Mitochondrial DNA Part II.