In an experiment, researchers applied knowledge of luminous mushrooms.
Employees of the biology faculty of the Russian Moscow State University, together with colleagues from the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences, have developed a technology for “highlighting” transgenic plants. This was reported by the press service of the university, writes the magazine “Knife”.
In the experiment, scientists applied knowledge of luminous mushrooms. Caffeic acid, which is found in all plants, is necessary for the glow of mushrooms. For light to appear, caffeic acid must go through a metabolic cycle involving four enzymes. Therefore, it was enough for scientists to “transfer” only four genes from mushrooms to plants.
The result is plants that glow at least ten times brighter than previous samples. The luminescent glow comes from the leaves, stems, roots and flowers of plants, it can be seen with the naked eye and can be photographed on ordinary cameras and smartphones. Young shoots and freshly blossomed flowers shine brighter than others. It is noted that the glow did not prevent the plants from growing and developing normally.
By observing the samples, scientists suggested that artificial light reflects the metabolic rate in plants. The hypothesis turned out to be productive: plants glow more strongly when they receive stress signals.
“Before the development of luminous plants, one could only dream of studying the dynamics of metabolism. The new technology allows us to evaluate phenolic metabolism in minute time intervals and obtain information on the localization of processes accurate to millimeters, ”said co-author of the study, director of the Botanical Garden of Moscow State University, Vlad Chub.