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Crop Biotech Update

Plants Grow Without Light

May 18, 2012

Sunlight is vital for plants not just for energy but also for the plant's development. Plants have photoreceptors that activate germination, leaf development, bud formation, and blossoming in the cells. In an article published in Plant Cell, it was reported that the phytochromobilin or the light-absorbing part of a photoreceptor could be replaced by a synthetic substance called 15Ea-phycocyanobilin. This substance could activate photoreceptor as if it is exposed to light. Thus, the model plant exhibited similar responses to the control group which was exposed to light.

These synthetic photoreceptors could be used to understand further the chemical processes occurring in plants such as photosynthesis.

For more information, read the research article at http://www.plantcell.org/content/early/2012/05/10/tpc.111.094656 and the press release at http://www.kit.edu/visit/pi_2012_10419.php.