Genetically Modified Crops That Glow Green When Stressed


Genetically altered Arabdopsis Thaliana plant, with green fluorescent protein (GFP) inserted near the on/off
switches for anoxia and drought genes. Cells expressing those genes glow green under a blue light (as shown).

A group of University of Tennessee plant scientists has genetically modified tobacco plants so that the plants will give off a phosphorescent green “glow” when plant immune systems are under stress – as might be caused by plant pathogens, drought, insects, etc. (The stress-indicating fluorescent proteins can be detected by scientific instruments only, as pictured above.) To implement this on a commercial basis, it is hypothesized, farmers would scatter the day-glow plants amidst a far greater number of normal plants, each GM plant serving as an attack sentinel for the surrounding a crop zone…

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