The Perfect Plant: Genetically “Hacking” Plants
The Wall Street Journal recently published an article entitled “Instead of Computer Code, ‘Plant Hackers’ Tinker With Genetics.” In this incredible article,
a plant researcher named Sebastian Cocioba talks about his work in genetically modifying plants to make a blue rose and “plants that have never been seen.”
This growing trend of bioengineering plants has become quite the goal for plant hackers and synthetic biology startups that want to create everything from plants that
glow to color-changing plants. While these plants have been possible in the past, the research and experimentation proved to be incredibly time-consuming and expensive. With the advances of the technology of today, these goals are more easily obtainable. When asked about the future of genetic engineering, the engineers thought it was plausible to think that teenagers of tomorrow could have ideas for plants and make them the same way mobile apps are made today.
For this young group of plant hackers, there is no prize bigger or more sought after than the “true” blue rose. Although “blue” roses are available from your local florist, they aren’t really “true” as they are simply dyed. This mythical flower doesn’t actually exist in nature. The closest anyone has ever come to making a “true” blue rose was when Suntory Holdings Ltd. Created a Japanese whisky consortium. This blue rose actually appears lavender in color to the human eye, but the company is continuing their work to try and create an even bluer rose. What comes after that? A new kind of moss that will smell of patchouli that could one day be a replacement for air fresheners. Another major target for plant hackers are glowing plants that are created using DNA from bioluminescent fireflies and jellyfish.
What could genetically “hacking” plants actually do for indoor plants and the plant care industry? Imagine the perfect indoor plant that only required a minimal amount of light! After all, finding plants that perform well in low light settings is the “Holy Grail” of the plant world. What about instead of an attack dog protecting a home, there was a modified attack plant? The problems and diseases that plague some plants could be gone forever. With the continuing advancement of technology, the possibilities for indoor plants, and all plants for that matter, are truly infinite.
If you would like to read more on the genetic modification of plants, check out the article from The Wall Street Journal here. For the closest thing to a perfect plant that’s currently available, contact PLANTZ today!