In 2010, borrowing genes from marine bacteria, Krichevsky engineered tobacco plant DNA to include both luciferase and luciferin-producing proteins for a prototype that eventually became his glowing Starlight Avatar plant.
Krichevsky has amped up the seedless plant’s brightness in subsequent iterations. Throughout its three-month life span, the plant now emits a green glow that’s about as luminous as a glow-in-the-dark stick-on star.
Want one? Krichevsky’s company, Bioglow, sold the first batch at auction last year for an average price of $300 per plant, but he says the next round, coming soon on the Bioglow website (bioglowtech.com), will go for a more affordable $30 per plant.
[This article originally appeared in print as "Leafy Lighting."]