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. 2010 Nov 12;5(11):e15461.
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0015461.

Autoluminescent Plants

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Free PMC article

Autoluminescent Plants

Alexander Krichevsky et al. PLoS One. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Prospects of obtaining plants glowing in the dark have captivated the imagination of scientists and layman alike. While light emission has been developed into a useful marker of gene expression, bioluminescence in plants remained dependent on externally supplied substrate. Evolutionary conservation of the prokaryotic gene expression machinery enabled expression of the six genes of the lux operon in chloroplasts yielding plants that are capable of autonomous light emission. This work demonstrates that complex metabolic pathways of prokaryotes can be reconstructed and function in plant chloroplasts and that transplastomic plants can emit light that is visible by naked eye.

Conflict of interest statement

Competing Interests: AK is a founder of BioGlow Inc.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1. PCR analyses to confirm plastid transformation with vector pCAS3-LUX-rps12/TrnV.
(A) Location of PCR primers on the vector and predicted size of junction PCR fragments. Shown are also: the rps12 and trnV plastid genes; aadA, the spectinomycin resistance gene; the lux genes. The drawing is not to scale. (B) Junction PCR fragments obtained by the primers in Fig. 1A using total cellular DNA of a transplastomic plant line as template.
Figure 2
Figure 2. DNA gel blot analysis confirms plastid transformation with vectors pCAS3-LUX-rps12/TrnV (A) and pCAS3-LUX-trnI/trnA (B).
Total cellular DNA isolated from transplastomic leaves was digested with the SmaI restriction endonuclease and probed with a fragment of the vector plastid-targeting region.
Figure 3
Figure 3. DNA gel blot analysis confirms integration of aadA and the lux operon in the LUX-rps12/TrnV (A) LUX-trnI/trnA (B) plastid genomes.
Total cellular DNA isolated from transplastomic leaves was digested with the SmaI restriction endonuclease and probed with a fragment of the vector plastid-targeting region. Shown are also: the rps12 and trnV plastid genes; the trnI and trnA plastid genes; aadA, the selective spectinomycin resistance gene; the lux genes. The drawing is not to scale.
Figure 4
Figure 4. Quantification and autoradigraphic detection of autoluminescence in transplastomic plants.
(A, B) Scintillation spectroscopy of transplastomic LUX-rps12/TrnV and LUX-TrnI/TrnA tissues (150 mg), respectively, in a Beckman LS 6500 multi-purpose scintillation counter. (C) Photographs (top panel) and autoradiographs of the LUX-TrnI/TrnA plants (bottom panel).
Figure 5
Figure 5. Visual detection of autoluminescence in LUX-TrnI/TrnA plants.
(A) Photograph taken in the dark with a hand-held consumer camera (Nikon D200; AF-S Micro Nikkor 105.0 mm 1∶2.8 G ED lens; exposures 5 min at f/4.5, 105mm focal length, ISO 3200). (B) Photographs of transplastomic and wild-type plants taken with lights on or off.

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