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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 July, 2003, 10:47 GMT 11:47 UK
Pollen-free lily developed
The lilies will be sold in stores starting in August
Scientists in Lincolnshire have created a pollen-free lily after years of research.

The flowers, which were developed for a supermarket chain and will be sold in stores from next month, should be a boon to people who suffer from hay fever.

Professor Jean Emberlin, director of the National Pollen Research Unit in Worchester, said the lilies resulted from selective breeding and not genetic modification.

"Instead of having large anthers and yellow, sticky pollen that causes staining and eye irritation - you will have a flower without the pollen."

Rare gene

About 10 million people in the UK suffer from hay fever, which can be triggered by pollen from flowers and crops.

Vanessa Hughes, flower buyer at Sainsbury's, said: "A pollen free gene is extremely rare which has made the research incredibly complicated and the success even more remarkable.

"We are hoping to extend the success across Oriental lilies next year and then look to move to other types of flower in the future."

The pollen-free lilies will cost the same as ordinary ones.

The lilies are being supplied by Winchester Growers of Spalding.

High life could worsen hayfever
20 Jun 03  |  Health
Pollen link to asthma risk
16 Sep 02  |  Health

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