Autoluminescent plants

Alexander Krichevsky, Benjamin Meyers, Alexander Vainstein, Pal Maliga, Vitaly Citovsky

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39 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere15461
JournalPloS one
Issue number11
StatePublished - Dec 9 2010


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

Cite this

Krichevsky, A., Meyers, B., Vainstein, A., Maliga, P., & Citovsky, V. (2010). Autoluminescent plants. PloS one, 5(11), [e15461].