The principle underlying bioluminescence is the same as that of chemiluminescence, in which some molecules, produced in an excited electronic state, emit part of energy in the form of photons returning to the ground state.
Biochemical studies have shown that the mechanisms of light emission by living organisms are very varied and therefore, with good probability, this property has developed independently in the various biological groups. It has been established that in many living organisms, including the firefly, bioluminescence involves the action of at least two chemical compounds.
An organic substrate that emits light and a catalyst enzyme.
Glowing plants can light up the night sky?
Glowing plants can light up the night sky? A review, a study published on the Biotechnology and bioengineering, makes a retrospective on this interesting topic.
The researchers explain: "Luminescence, a physical phenomenon that producing cool light in vivo, has been found in bacteria, fungi, and animals but not yet in terrestrial higher plants. Through genetic engineering, it is feasible to introduce luminescence systems into living plant cells as biomarkers.
Recently, some plants transformed with luminescent systems can glimmer in darkness, which can be observed by our eyes and provides a novel lighting resource. In this review, we summarized the bioassay development of luminescence in plant cells, followed by exampling the successful cases of glowing plants transformed with diverse luminescent systems.
The potential key factors to design or optimize a glowing plant were also discussed. Our review is useful for the creation of the optimized glowing plants, which can be used not only in scientific research, but also as promising substitutes of artificial light sources in the future." A truly fascinating and interesting topic, which obviously deserves more insights and studies on it.
Luminous or biolumiescent plants have been a reality for some time now, able to amaze even with very low performance. The experiments fall within the field of plant nanobionics, a science dedicated to the enhancement of green species through the use of non-biological nanostructures.