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Tobacco plant with firefly gene

A tobacco plant glows with the introduction of a firefly gene into its DNA

A tobacco plant with firefly gene. National Science Foundation-supported researchers at the University of California, San Diego, altered the genetic makeup of a tobacco plant by introducing a firefly gene into its DNA. The purpose of the research was to find out which genes are activated in which organs. The researchers engineered genes that made the roots, stem and leaves of the plant glow, just like a firefly. This research will help genetic engineers who are trying to breed disease-resistant plants, as well as biologists who are studying which genes affect which organs.

Credit: National Science Foundation

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