Light Bio has announced the start of taking pre-orders for the biosynthetic plant “Firefly Petunia”. It is a genetically modified organism that differs from a regular petunia in that it glows on its own in the dark. What was previously a subject of experimentation is now available to everyone and for only $29.
The first artificial glowing plants were created back in the 80s of the last century. Then scientists introduced genes of fireflies into them. Modern technology has gone a step further and allows not just moving genes, but also pre-editing them to achieve the best effects. The Light Bio team is made up of experts in this field who decided to monetize their developments.
The basis for the new plant is the poisonous rainforest mushroom Neonothopanus nambi from South America. He naturally has a bright bioluminescent glow, and his genes were able to be placed in a variety of plants in laboratory conditions. However, the light in these hybrids was dim, so it took several years to find the right solution.
In the end, working with fungus eukaryotes allowed scientists to create what has been called “self-sustaining luminescence”. The light became brighter by about 100 times, it is clearly visible to human vision in the dark. And it is beautiful, even mysterious, with the otherwise modified petunia remaining an otherwise ordinary and safe houseplant.
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