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Glowing Plants


kaos
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I was wondering if it is possible to take DNA from a firefly, and inject it into a plant causing the plant to glow with household items. I know that it is possible to make transgenic glowing plants, but I don't know if it can be done with household objects. I'm thinking that somehow i could catch a firefly, grab some DNA, for example, get some of the yellow goo off of their butt, and inject it into the plant cells. If that works correctly, the plant cells would take in the DNA and begin to create the luciferin/luciferace that makes the light. When the oxygen and ATP from the plant cells mixes, it will make the plants glow. I've seen it done before, but I wanted to know if I could do this at home maybe with a needle or something? Or if there was a method of doing it without fancy lab equipment.

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Actually not too long ago (within the past year) I read that a university GM'd plants to glow when they needed water. However I am horribly unorganized and I don't know what the plant or university was. Perhaps someone else knows, or maybe it will hit me.

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Yeah, I've herd about that. There are already uses of firefly DNA in plants to make them grow when they run low on water. But there are also ways to make them glow 24/7 I beleive.

 

Anyways, does anyone know how to do this, and if it can be done at home?

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You cannot do this at home trust me. Well not with household items. You need access to chemicals, materials and equipement only available to labs. Expensive ones at that.

 

Actually I'm currently doing this. I'm working on a project to make roots glow with luciferase as reporter gene for gene expression studies. It's alot of work...

 

Incidentally' date=' the main gene for glowing organisms is not taken from fireflies, but from a jellyfish.[/quote']

 

Umm you can't really compare the two genes. The genes that they take from jellyfish do not glow in the way the firefly one does. They flouresce. ie take in light of one wavelength and emit it at another.

While luciferase from fireflies takes chemical energy in the form of atp and converts it to light. IE chemiluminesence

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i know, it not bioluminescent, nor is it plants, but these pigs are GM'd to fluoresce! (not just the skin either, cut one open and shine a blacklight and you'll be greeted with a light show)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4605202.stm

im horrible at remembering sources, but someone has worked out that gold particles under a certain size can pass through the cell membrane and that genetic material can be attached while they do it, allowing the material to go in unrestricted.

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The only difference is that you'd have to find bioluminesent bacteria instead of running around catching fireflies.

 

Look you can't do what you suggest. Just by asking these questions you're proving that even with access to a lab and all the resources necessary you still wouldn't posess the technical knowhow to do it.

 

If you really want to pull this off I suggest enrolling in a good molecular biology/biochemistry/biotech etc... program at an university.

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i know' date=' it not bioluminescent, nor is it plants, but these pigs are GM'd to fluoresce! (not just the skin either, cut one open and shine a blacklight and you'll be greeted with a light show)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4605202.stm

im horrible at remembering sources, but someone has worked out that gold particles under a certain size can pass through the cell membrane and that genetic material can be attached while they do it, allowing the material to go in unrestricted.[/quote']

 

I know it's a double post on my part but he put it up when I was typing the last one.

 

What you're referring to is microprojectile bombardment. It's a new technique that is proving very useful in introducing genetic material into larger cells (plants, animals etc). They basically take fine gold particles around the size of bacteria and coat them in DNA. Then fire them at cells.

 

Nothing you can do at home though obviously. :)

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Hey, thanks Herpguy. I don't think that's the specific action (although you nailed the glowing and the need for water) but that's definitely interesting.

 

It wasn't way back in 1999 and they weren't potatoes. but I find it ammusing the same thing was going on 6 years earlier and I had no clue about it.

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Actually you can transform plant cells using agrobacterium to inject the gene. It is much cheaper and easier than the tungsten gun aproach. The only problem is the old jellyfish gene is patented for another 3 years I believe (my cell biologist college is eager with anticipation). Then you will be able to get it very cheap and possibly could do it at home. Given you had the proper media to grow the agrobacterium with the gene in it and do some basic plant culture technique with it.

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Agrobacterium as a vector for transferring genes may work. But you should not underestimate the complexity of the task. you would need the target plant in tissue culture times about 10,000. Each and every one of that 10,000 has to be tested to see if the gene has been transferred.

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Well actually not if you have access to some basic plasmids that you can manipulate. Then you only need enzymes, an electrophoresis system (to check the constructs), probably a thermal cycler (unless you can cut out the gene from another vector), water bath, ow well, some pipettes...

Well excluding the cycler it would cost probably only a few thousand dollars...

Not that it would be a good investment, though.

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