As their name suggests, bioluminescent plants are a type of plant that has the ability to produce a luminescence or glow similar to that of fireflies.
To obtain bioluminescent plants, a series of changes in their genetic code and metabolism must be made.
Over time, bioluminescent plants have become an option for replacing night-time street lighting, ceasing to generate pollution and decorating – in an original way – the spaces.
Find out more about bioluminescent plants, the benefits of their use in daily life and their implementation in areas without access to electricity.
Genetic code that lights up life
Bioluminescent plants are created by altering the genetic code of several plant species , combining it with bioluminescent fungi or bacteria.
To ensure the success of the process, scientists select bacterial or fungal species that have a similar metabolic process.
The most used species are the bioluminescent fungi because they have an organic molecule that plants have inside their components, called caffeic acid.
In order for the mushrooms to be luminescent, caffeic acid comes into contact with four enzymes during a metabolic process. The first two enzymes transform the caffeic acid into a light starter.
The initiator is then subjected to an oxidation process by the third enzyme to generate a photon . The last enzyme converts the photon into caffeic acid and the cycle is repeated.
Caffeic acid in plants is the molecule responsible for the generation of cell walls. It also forms an important part of other internal processes in plants such as pigmentation, properties and their odours.
With the manipulation and vigilance of scientists, plants are subjected to the process of fungal luminescence, but in an induced manner because they are species that do not have the capacity to carry out this process on their own.
It is very rare to find bioluminescent plants of natural origin. However, bioluminescence is common in other components of nature.
In the Animalia and Fungi kingdoms it is normal to find a variety of species that have the characteristic of bioluminescence.
For example, over 80% of marine life is bioluminescent and approximately 80 species of fungi also have the ability to generate light.
In addition, there are also animals and insects such as fireflies and related species that light up what is around them.
Lighting capacity of a plant
The creation of bioluminescent plants poses the challenge of replacing artificial energy with natural energy.
By buying the plants or seeds to grow your bioluminescent plants at home, this type of plant guarantees lighting that decreases as the months go by.
The lighting provided by bioluminescent plants allows you to walk around the rooms in your house without tripping over any furniture, but it is not advisable to use their luminescence for tasks such as reading or cooking.
However, the laboratories that have developed these bioluminescent plants have made further modifications to make their lighting last a year or more.
Bioluminescent plants for street lighting
Some cities around the world have considered replacing electric lighting with energy obtained from a clean and eco-friendly generation process.
Bioluminescent plants – despite their limited development – have been part of the options because they do not depend on large processes to illuminate the city, in addition to having other benefits for the environment.
Several projects have been developedaround the world that guarantee an effective use of bioluminescent plants.
One of them deals with the development of bioluminescent plants to be placed in streetlights. These types of street lights illuminate the streets of cities while playing an ornamental role.
Finally, it is proposed to use nanoparticles obtained from gold to generate luminescence in trees. It has been mentioned that these particles could generate an illumination similar to an LED bulb.
After all, every project involving bioluminescent plants requires further development to ensure that the light emission from the plants is durable.
Advantages of using this technology
The use of bioluminescent plants represents major changes in people’s lifestyles and their management of natural resources.
By using bioluminescent plants for street and outdoor lighting, the production of greenhouse gases from electricity generation is reduced.
In turn, the plants will absorb the carbon dioxide present in the environment, release oxygen and give a better image to the areas where they are planted.
Special products for those who care about the environment
If you are a person concerned about climate change and want to start working to reduce pollution levels, you need to change your daily habits and the dishes you use every day.
In our online shop: Greenuso, you will find a wide catalogue with biodegradable products made from recycled materials.
Each product you choose is certified as an eco-friendly product, so you can be more confident that it will not harm the environment.
After using them, you can throw them away without fear that they will take thousands of years to decompose or you can also use them as compost when planting some plants.