SEP 30, 2017 04:53 PM PDT

Plants That Grow Glow-in-the-Dark Cotton

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch
2 4 182

Researchers have developed a way to infuse plants with special functions without the use of genetic engineering. This could be a way to create cotton that is lighter and stronger, that glows in the dark or is pigmented in a way that does not fade. While regulatory hurdles remain before it can be applied to industry, scientists are working to improve it.

The researchers used ovules from cotton plants, which grow cotton fibers after the plant is fertilized. The harvested ovules were cultured separately, without the normal, photosynthetic process making the sugars needed for growth. Instead, the plants were fed water containing glucose that had been attached to other molecules. Once the plants took up this modified glucose, it was taken into the ovules and passed on to cells that build cotton fibers.

After testing this method with fluorescent molecules, it was found that around five percent of the fluorescent material was weaved into the fibers. They had a yellow appearance in normal light but glowed green if exposed to ultraviolet light. There is still much to be done to perfect the technique, but it presents a new avenue for the production of a huge variety of modified plants and even bacteria.
About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on 28 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 60 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
You May Also Like
JUL 19, 2018
Videos
JUL 19, 2018
Hazmat Spill at Johns Hopkins
Biohazards are a common problem in any kind of scientific research, and if a spill of dangerous materials occurs, it can be deadly. Luckily, a recent spill
JUL 23, 2018
Videos
JUL 23, 2018
Rare Diseases That Changed Medicine
In the US, a disease is considered rare when it affects fewer than 200,000 people in the whole country. But, in Europe, a disease is considered rare when i
JUL 23, 2018
Videos
JUL 23, 2018
Can Dark-Colored Eyes See Better?
  Other than health risks associated with certain eye colors, can some colors see better than others? For example, can brown eyes see better than ligh
JUL 25, 2018
Videos
JUL 25, 2018
What the Cockroach Genome can Teach us
The genome of the cockroach was recently sequenced, and scientists have gained some insight into why they are so tough.
AUG 01, 2018
Videos
AUG 01, 2018
Goodbye to the Endangered Species Act?
The Endangered Species Act, which protects more than 2,000 plant, animal and insect species at risk of
AUG 01, 2018
Videos
AUG 01, 2018
Award-winning Images of Organoids From the Koch Institute
Every year, the Koch Institute at MIT shares some of the most stunning images produced at the research facility.
Loading Comments...