Light Bio to introduce bioluminescent petunias into U.S. market

Feb 1, 2024
Bioluminescent petunias now available for U.S. market

Light Bio, a synthetic biology startup, announced that it is now selling its bioluminescent petunias in the U.S.

With support from biotech leaders such as NFX and Ginkgo Bioworks, Light Bio is reimagining the horticultural industry by introducing a new category of plants that emit an ethereal glow. 

People are fascinated with glowing plants, and scientists have now revealed how to make these much brighter. This significant achievement, documented in Nature Methods, details genetic modifications that enhance bioluminescence in a variety of plants by up to 100 times. The team of 26 scientists created the brighter plants by optimizing genes isolated from multiple species of luminous mushrooms.

The new research builds on an earlier discovery for creating continuously glowing plants by inserting DNA obtained from the mushrooms. Those researchers had revealed a surprising similarity between mushroom bioluminescence and plant metabolism, allowing for more visible light than was previously possible. In this new report, the scientists have adapted the inserted genes to further boost luminescence.

Beginning in April, glowing petunias will be available under the brand Firefly Petunia, so named because the bright buds resemble fireflies. Last September, the USDA reportedly determined through its independent evaluation that Light Bio’s genetically engineered Firefly Petunia may be safely grown and bred in the U.S.

Light Bio is taking orders at