A colorful way to control plants

Scientists from the University of East Anglia (UEA) found a way to control different plant processes with the use of colored light. 

Led by Heinrich Heine University and the Cluster of Excellence on Plant Sciences (CEPLAS), in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Freiburg and UEA, it was revealed that colored light can control biological processes in plants by switching different genes on and off. 

Red lights are used to cause gene expression at a precise moment, while an ambient white light can reverse the process, serving as the “off button.” This manipulation can be done a number of times. 

Researches named the new tool PULSE, or Plant Usable Light-Switch Elements, and it is suitable for plants growing under normal day and night cycles. 

The researchers hope that the discovery could lead to developments in how plants grow and adapt to their environments to increase crop yields. 

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