Home Science Bioengineered plants could soon glow-in-the-dark to light up your home

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When it comes to living things that glow, a plant is probably your best choice to have in your home than a jellyfish, or even a glow-in-the-dark cat or pig. Bioglow is preparing to offer its bioengineered houseplants to the public which will glow in the dark.

Bioglow has been leading the movement ever since molecular biologist Alexander Krichevsky created what the company calls the first light-producing plants and published his findings in 2010. But there are still a lot of limitations with these initial batches of glowing plants. They are best viewed in a dark room after giving your eyes time to adjust. The plants also have a short lifespan of only two to three months.

Each Starlight Avatar, as the company calls it, is shipped in a see-through box and grows in a nutrient gel. The plant can be transferred to a pot once it’s outgrown its container, but about half of them don’t survive the transplant. They also need to be kept away from direct sunlight.

According to Bioglow

“Starlight Avatar™ is an indoor plant and is unlikely to survive in an open garden due to strong susceptibility to a variety of abiotic conditions, particularly light and water shock.”

Your first crack at buying a Starlight Avatar of your own will be through an upcoming online auction where you can sign up to participate and bid for one of 20 plants, though the official date of the auction hasn’t yet been announced. Also the plants are only available to ship to the US.

They could conceivably become renewable light sources in the future. It’s within the realm of possibility, but, in the meantime, you’ll have to settle for spending a few months with a glowing plant.


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