Glow in the dark spuds

Betsy ilima at
Tue Dec 19 14:00:21 EST 2000

I'm just curious - "injecting" plants with a material doesn't sound like genetic engineering. Does anyone know if the "injecting" is actually "inserting" of the gene?

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Bob Batson 
  To: market farming 
  Sent: Tuesday, December 19, 2000 12:00 PM
  Subject: Re: Glow in the dark spuds

  At 12:02 AM -0500 12/19/00, Jeff <jeff at> wrote:

  >re: "Glow in the Dark Spuds called 'Agriculture of the Future'"
  >Dear Friends,
  >    I've been following this list-serve for quite sometime and have come
  >to appreciate the "grassroots" comments posted here by farmers nationwide.
  >    As an agricultural journalist and direct-marketing small farmer, I
  >thought the following story (which just came across the AP wires) would
  >be of interest to this group. The full story is posted below.


  >New Super-Spud Glows Green to Ask for Water
  >LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists have pioneered a genetically modified
  >``super potato'' which glows when it needs water, the head of the
  >project said on Monday.
  >Researchers at Edinburgh University injected potato plants with a
  >fluorescence gene borrowed from the luminous jellyfish aequorea
  >victoria, which causes their leaves to glow green when dehydrated.
  >``This is an agriculture of the future,'' Professor Anthony Trewavas
  >told Reuters. ``We were trying to design a way of monitoring the
  >resources within a field and decided it was the plant itself which has
  >that information.''
  >The potatoes are not intended to be eaten but would act as
  >''sentinels,'' planted beside the commercial crop to alert a farmer that
  >the rest of his field needed watering.


  Another article about these potatoes can be found at,,2-52740,00.html
  and makes no mention that these are intended to be "sentinel" plants. 
  Is Reuters right or not?


  Bob Batson                            L 39 12 14 N 94 33 16 W
  rcb at                         Kansas City
  TCS - Mystic Fire Priest              USDA Zone 5

  Under the most controlled conditions, the experimental apparatus
  will do exactly as it pleases.

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