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New research reveals plant control with the power of light

Scientists have found a way to control different plant processes — such as when they grow — using nothing but colored light.The development reveals how coloured light can be used to control biological processes in plants by switching different genes on and off. PULSE enables targeted and reversible gene expression control in plants in the presence of ambient light. The researchers hope that their findings could lead to advances in how plants grow, flower, and adapt to their environment, ultimately allowing increases in crop yields. Credit: Leonie-Alexa Koch, Institute of Synthetic Biology, University of Düsseldorf. University of East Anglia scientists have helped find a way to control different plant processes—such as when they grow—using nothing but colored light.

The development, published today in the journal Nature Methods , reveals how colored light can be used to control biological processes in plants by switching different genes on and off.

The researchers hope that their findings could lead to advances in how plants grow, flower, and adapt to their environment, ultimately allowing increases in crop yields .

The research was led by Heinrich Heine University and the Cluster of Excellence on Plant Sciences (CEPLAS) in Düsseldorf, in collaboration with colleagues at the University of […]

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