[quote=“Jaboney”][color=green]Glow in the dark trees[/color].
Insert a luciferase gene into a seed’s DNA, plant, add water.
Line the highways, save electricity.
shrug Works in the lab. Sort of.[/quote]
GFP (green flourescent protein) would also be interesting. Then we would not only have fire-fly/plant hybrids, but also jellyfish/plants as well. In fact, there are tobacco plants that already have had the GFP DNA inserted for research purposes. They glow green in the dark and are even brighter green under UV light.
For the luciferase to work, you’d have to persuade the tree to produce luciferin as well, in large quanities, and preferably only in the leaves. You don’t need glow in the dark roots afterall!
If you could plug luciferin production into the light cycle of photosynthesis, you could hopefully get large amounts of it. As luciferase is an enzyme, you don’t need as much, and it would be preferable that it’s only produced at night. I would guess that some-how “wireing” it into the mitochondrial pathways would work quite well as it would only be produced when it was dark (mitochondria are not very active during the day as the chloroplasts produce more than enough ATP for the leaf’s requirements. Finally you would also need a mechanism to remove luciferase during the day so that you would be able to build up a stock of luciferin to see you through the night.
After all that, it might just be cheaper to leave the lights turned on