Bioluminescence is a powerful biological signal that scientists have repurposed as a reporter for gene expression in plants and animals. However, there are downsides associated with the need to provide a substrate to these reporters, including its high cost and non-uniform tissue penetration. In this work we reconstitute a fungal bioluminescence pathway (FBP) in planta using a composable toolbox of parts. We demonstrate that the FBP can create luminescence across various tissues in a broad range of plants without external substrate addition. We also show how our toolbox can be used to deploy the FBP in planta to build auto-luminescent reporters for the study of gene-expression and hormone fluxes. A low-cost imaging platform for gene expression profiling is also described. These experiments lay the groundwork for future construction of programmable auto-luminescent plant traits, such as light driven plant-pollinator interactions or light emitting plant-based sensors.
- Arjun Khakhar
- Nayoung Lee
- Nayoung Lee
- Colby G Starker
- James C Chamness
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Richard Amasino, University of Wisconsin Madison, United States
- Received: October 16, 2019
- Accepted: March 24, 2020
- Accepted Manuscript published: March 25, 2020 (version 1)
© 2020, Khakhar et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.