Glowing Potatoes (Garden) : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

This is not a joke.

I just read an article off of Reuters News that said scientists somewhere in Europe successfully created a potato that glows when it needs water. They genetically engineered a gene from a phosphorescent jellyfish into a potato plant. The glowing isn't very pronounced with the naked eye, but is very noticeable with a special device. The plants are not intended to be eaten, but to serve as marker plants for the field. Question, Wouldn't the "Glowing" potato cross with the edible ones to create a hybridized offspring? Would you even want to eat the hybrid, let alone the "glowing" potato parent? The idea was to monitor water resources in the field to reduce waste. The scientists also stated that they could engineer other vegetables as well. They claimed this is the future of farming. I always thought if the plant looked a little, well, wilted, then that was enough of an indication to water the plant. Am I missing something here? Gotta make room for a bigger 'tater patch now that I've read this!

-- Steven in NC (ThicketyRowFarm@AOL.Com), December 18, 2000


Next thing you know, the ants will be gigantic size and terrorizing the populace!

Seriously, I wouldn't want to eat any of those potatoes!

-- Joy Froelich (, December 18, 2000.

Howdy everyone! I'm kinda new to Countryside and brand new to the forum. I'm up here in Michigan-60 miles north of Grabd Rapids. This potato thing caught my eye. Just love spuds--but not "glow in the dark" ones. We used to grow a lot of potatoes when I was a kid. Once a neighbor stopped by and asked my Dad if he would sell him 50lbs. of taters. My old man just looked at him funny and said, "Sorry, man, I wouldn't cut one of my spuds in half for anybody!" It's 18'F out right now and snowing steady--bet we'll have 6 new inches by morning. Keep warm all! Mike

-- Mike D. (, December 18, 2000.

since the only hybridizing would take place in seed, which they don't use very often for propagation, I doubt that that would be a big problem. However, does anyone really trust them NOT to harvest these potatoes and just mix them in with all the others? They can't get it right with the genetically engineered corn that's not for human consumption.

On the other hand, things like jellyfish, squids innards, etc are very popular in Japan as food -- maybe they could ship these over to the McDonalds over there for their french fries and they'd have a big hit.

Just keep them far away from me.

-- Julie Froelich (, December 18, 2000.

Oh come on now folks! Don't any of you want to be the life of the party? Eat a spud and glow in the dark. I'll bet it would be the pits to play hide and seek with someone at night. LOL. Might keep your spouse awake at nights too. Hm, that might not be all bad.

Steven, if a plant is showing even slight wilting, it is already past the proper stage for additional watering. Stress on plants keep them from producing their optimum, therefore great losses to commercial growers while it is no big deal to home gardeners.

Since so many on this forum are against any chemicals or compounds thereof, I don't know if any one here is familiar with polyacrylamides. Cross linked polyacrylamides (CLP) looks a lot like large pretzel salt, but when water is added to them, they soak it up in great quantities and look like blobs of gelatin. The ones I use will soak up to 300 times their weight in water. A one pound box of them will soak up a full barrel of water. Their use you ask? When used in gardening they can sometimes prevent the need for irrigation altogether, or at the very least they release moisture to plant roots between rains or irrigations, and therefore eliminate much plant stress. Under many university tests, plants grown with CLPs in the soil give greater yields. In one unusual instance, Kandy Korn, which normally will yield 2 ears per stalk, was yielding anywhere from 3 to 7 ears per stalk.

I've read toxicology reports from different countries and I have formed the opinion that they are safe for me to use. Tests show no uptake from the soil to the plant of CLPs. Everyone has to form their own opinion however.

Polyacrylamides are also used in baby diapers, feminine hygiene products, potted plants, irrigation ditchs to prevent soil errosion, in lawns and football fields, and even used in landfills under liners to soak up any seepage from pits. Many uses for them. I forgot to mention that a fine grind of them is mixed with water to produce a slurry, which is used to dip bareroot trees into before forrest plantings. It gives the seedlings a chance to root in before dying from lack of moisture.

Even if you never use them, they are a fun item to experiment with. No I don't sell them, nor am I associated with any company that sells them. I am just excited about the use of them and the benefit they add.

-- Notforprint (, December 19, 2000.

If you think glow in the dark spuds are bad, a few months ago French scientist made a transgenic glow in the dark rabbit! Here's the link to the story (sorry, I don't know how to make it a hyperlink): l

Very cold and snowy here today, supposed to get down below zero overnight...brrr!

Sherri in IN

-- Sherri C (, December 19, 2000.

Will do wonders for those romantic candlelit dinners. :)

-- Jay Blair in N. AL (, December 19, 2000.

Interesting that the same group (European Union) which is fighting to keep genetically engineered crops grown in this country out of their markets is studying to produce their own.

-- ray s (, December 19, 2000.

Steven, when I first saw the thread posted, I thought there was a typo. I thought it was about growin potatoes, not glowin! Yikes, glad I always grow my own. What in the world will they come up with next? Hey, Mike D., welcome aboard. I think Michigan is a beautiful state, but you know, you all can keep the snow and cold weather up there. :) We really wouldn't mind! It's freezing down here and us Southerners are a little thin blooded!

-- Annie (, December 20, 2000.

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