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Biotechnology and bioluminescence

  1. Sep 6, 2010 #1
    the other day, I was learning basic bio tech(of 10th grade) .. and found out about genetic engineering.

    So what I thought was .. there are these bioluminescencent(light giving) organsisms in the deep sea and in trees too(fire flies!) which must be having some or the other gene to make them produce light. So why not introduce this gene into roadside trees and make them as streetlights?

    Then no electricity waste (and though street lights are run on solar panels silicon or other metalloids are wasted here)... instead there will be a multi-benefit of more trees , oxygen , rain ....etc.

    This is just what I believe might be possible... please be free and correct me if I am wrong.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 6, 2010 #2
    Anyone please guide me whether this is right or not..
  4. Sep 7, 2010 #3
    Man that's an awesome idea.
    The only problem I can think of is that most bioluminescent molecules require some form of chemical energy to light up, so you would have to engineer that "power source" into the tree. It could be something simple like routing sugar to the area of luminescence, but then it's also kind of tricky to figure out where to make the luminescent protein in the tree. Hmm, I'm thinking if you could introduce a bioluminescent gene to pine cones that might be feasible?
    Theoretically Possible? YEAH
    Actually doing it? might be tough.

    Haha I just realized I said it would be "simple" to reroute sugar to a specific place. I dont know too much plant science but I'm guessing that aint right.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2010
  5. Sep 7, 2010 #4
    You are right though... practically it doesnt exactly work out.
    I myself found another disadvantage to this too.

    So here we need this enzyme luciferase to catalyze the oxidation of luciferin(that will be hard to produce at large scale). That itself will take away the oxygen produced by the tree and gives away CO2... and this is to be done somewhere inside the tree... and thats gonna be tough.

    Well .. looks like I will have to refine this idea of mine.
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