The Perfect Side Dish for Green Eggs and Ham:
What do you get when you cross a jellyfish with a potato plant? A green, glow-in-the-dark potato, of course!
No, you wont be seeing these super spuds in the produce section of your local supermarket. They were developed as agricultural crop watering aids by researchers at Edinburgh University who were searching for a sentinel that could be planted beside commercial crops to alert a farmer that the rest of the field needed watering. Researchers injected potato plants with a fluorescence gene harvested from the luminous jellyfish aequorea victoria, which causes the plants leaves to glow green when dehydrated.
This is an agriculture of the future, explains Edinburgh professor Anthony Trewavas. We were trying to design a way of monitoring the resources within a field and decided it was the plant itself that has the information.
Field trials of the spud sentinels are scheduled to begin later this year, although Trewavas estimates it could take 20 years before the plants are commonly used.