Now, GM roses that can last up to a month

The breakthrough, the experts said, will help roses fight diseases like petal blight which shortens their "vase life", the Daily Mail reported.

According to the researchers, some fungal pathogens that infect plants produce a sugar alcohol called mannitol that interferes with the plant's ability to block disease like petal blight, which produces wilty, mushy petals.

Dr John Williamson, who led the research along with Dr John Dole, said: "This gene is naturally found in many plants, but it's uncertain whether the rose already has it.

"If it does, it doesn't produce enough enzyme to help the plant fight against petal blight."

The genetically modified roses currently growing in test beds look and smell like normal roses. They are currently being tested to see how much better they are able to fight off petal blight. The researchers say their ultimate goal is to get roses to survive for three to four weeks after they have been harvested.

With many roses sold in florists and supermarkets coming from abroad, shipping times can reduce their vase life after they are bought. The research is part of a wider effort to make a better rose, said Dr Dole.

Other research includes examining the types of sugars best suited to mix with water to keep the plants thriving after they have been picked and preventing other plant diseases.

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