Engineers have created the first light producing plant called the Starlight Avatar, in an attempt of synthetic biology.
Images © Bioglow
The amazing plant from the company Bioglow, is made by splicing genes from a bioluminescent bacteria with Nicotiana alata, a common plant.
During the past three decades several plants have been described as having a glowing effect. However, these plants were either painted with dye, required chemicals or needed ultraviolet (UV) light to induce a temporary light emission effect. Bioglow’s plants are the first autonomously luminescent, or autoluminescent, plants that emit light on their own without the need for chemicals or UV light. Similar to fireflies and other luminous organisms found in nature, the autoluminescent plant’s light emission machinery is encoded on a cellular level allowing the plant to constantly emit visible light during its life cycle. Bioglow’s work is dedicated to bringing a cleaner, sustainable and affordable plant-based light alternatives to the world.
The natural phenomenon of bioluminescence, the biological mechanisms found in nature that produce light, have fascinated Bioglow’s founder Dr. Alexander Krichevsky for many years. Dr. Krichevsky studied both bioluminescence of marine bacteria and molecular biology of plants, and at the intersection of these two disciplines the idea of a glowing plant has emerged.