Engineers Create Plants that GlowDecember 20, 2017
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have engineered plants that give off dim light. The MIT team used luciferase, the enzyme that gives fireflies their glowing light. Luciferase acts on the molecule luciferin, causing it to emit light. Another molecule called co-enzyme A helps the process by removing a reaction byproduct that can inhibit luciferase activity.
These three components were packed into a different type of nanoparticle carrier. The nanoparticles help each component to get to the specific part of the plant, and also prevent the components from reaching concentrations that could be toxic to plants.
The researchers used silica nanoparticles to carry luciferase, and used slightly larger particles of the polymers PLGA and chitosan to carry luciferin and coenzyme A, respectively. The plants were immersed in the solution and then exposed to high pressure, allowing the particles to enter the leaves through the stomata. Early efforts at the start of the project yielded plants that could glow for about 45 minutes, which has since improved to 3.5 hours.
For more details, read the MIT News.
Biotech Updates is a weekly newsletter of ISAAA, a not-for-profit organization. It is distributed for free to over 22,000 subscribers worldwide to inform them about the key developments in biosciences, especially in biotechnology. Your support will help us in our mission to feed the world with knowledge. You can help by donating as little as $10.
See more articles:
News from Around the World
- JGI and UNC Develop Functional Genomics Database for Plant Microbiome Studies
- USDA FAS-GAIN Reports Agri-biotech Updates in Mozambique
- Researchers Trace Potato's Origins, Its Untapped Potential
- Large Scale Trials Reveal Secrets to Adaptation of Modern Corn Hybrids
- Society of Toxicology: No Verifiable Evidence of Potential for Adverse Health Effects of GE Crops
- Temple University Study Did Not Conclude Link Between Canola Oil Consumption and Alzheimer's
- CSIRO Scientists Develop New Type of Wheat with Ten Times More Fiber
- Study Reveals New Insight into "Immortal" Plant Cells
- Scientists Report New Signaling Pathway for Chilling Tolerance in Rice
- Aquaporin Gene Increases Fruit Size and Enhances Drought Tolerance in Tomato
- Overexpression of AtEDT1 Gene Confers Drought Tolerance in Alfalfa
Beyond Crop Biotech
- Engineers Create Plants that Glow
- Biotech Country Facts and Trends (Industrial Countries)
- Knock-out of OsAnn3 Decreases Cold Tolerance in Rice
- Scientists Use CRISPR to Modify Promoters and Boost Crop Yields
Read the latest:
- Biotech Updates (December 7, 2023)
- Gene Editing Supplement (November 29, 2023)
- Gene Drive Supplement (February 22, 2023)
Subscribe to BU: