Genetic modification of seeds has put animal genes in vegetables and given us square tomatoes, but the newest breakthrough is the green, water-sensing, potato. Scientists at Edinburgh University injected potato plants with a fluorescence gene borrow from a luminous jellyfish, which cause the leaves of this potato plant to glow green when it needs water. “This is an agriculture of the future,” says Professor Anthony Trewavas.
The plants are not intended to be eaten, but would act as a warning to the local farmer that his fields needed watering. The glow is barely visible, but can be detected with a special, hand-held device. Trewavas said it could take 20 years before the plants reach the average farmer, and that this technology could be extended to other fruits and vegetables as well.
We note that these special spuds are not intended for human consumption, which reminds us that StarLink corn wasn?t meant to be eaten by people either, yet it turned up on our grocery shelves in tacos, and has recently been discovered in Japanese beer. Maybe we better start checking our bags of potato chips for a faint green glow. Or learn to stomach jellyfish.
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