How Lasers Affect Growth and Genes in White Gladiolus Flowers

Greg Howard
17th March, 2024

How Lasers Affect Growth and Genes in White Gladiolus Flowers

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • In Cairo, red laser light improved Gladiolus grandiflorus growth, leaf size, and flower traits
  • Optimal results were achieved with a 20 mW laser for 5 minutes
  • Laser treatment also induced genetic changes, potentially altering plant characteristics
In the realm of horticulture, researchers are always seeking methods to enhance plant growth, health, and productivity. A recent study by scientists at Cairo University[1] has explored the potential of using red laser light to stimulate the growth and flowering of Gladiolus grandiflorus, a popular ornamental plant known for its striking, large flowers. The research focused on the effects of laser irradiation on various aspects of the plant's development, including vegetative growth, flowering characteristics, and chemical composition. The study utilized a helium-neon (He-Ne) laser with a wavelength of 635 nm, testing different power levels (5, 20, and 50 mW) and irradiation times (ranging from 0 to 10 minutes). The goal was to determine the optimal conditions that would positively influence the plant's growth and flowering. The findings revealed that a medium power level of 20 mW for a duration of 5 minutes was most beneficial, leading to favorable changes in leaf structure and other growth parameters. This treatment improved the plant's vegetative growth, such as increasing the height, leaf number, and leaf area, as well as enhancing flowering characteristics like inflorescence length and flower diameter. Additionally, the treatment influenced the chemical composition of the plant's corms, which are the bulb-like storage organs, increasing the levels of carbohydrates, phenols, flavonoids, antioxidants, and proline—an amino acid that helps plants cope with stress. Interestingly, this study also incorporated genetic analysis using simple sequence repeat (SSR) primers—a type of molecular marker used to identify genetic variation. The laser treatment resulted in changes to certain alleles, which are different forms of a gene, potentially affecting plant traits like leaf and flower color or shape. This indicates that laser irradiation could induce genetic modifications that manifest as physical changes in the plant. The research at Cairo University builds upon earlier studies that have investigated the effects of light quality and other treatments on plant growth. For instance, a study on Curcuma longa[2] found that red and blue LED light spectra could enhance shoot proliferation and phytochemical synthesis, such as curcumin, during in vitro cultivation. Similarly, another study[3] demonstrated that laser light and 6-benzylaminopurine (BAP) priming could synergistically improve the growth and nutritional value of Linum usitatissimum sprouts. Furthermore, the use of natural biostimulants like honey bee and silymarin (HB-Sm) was shown to alleviate salt stress in chili pepper plants, enhancing growth and productivity[4]. The current study aligns with these previous findings by showing that specific light treatments can have a profound impact on plant development. However, it goes a step further by applying laser light directly to the corms of Gladiolus grandiflorus and by examining the genetic implications of such treatment. It suggests that not only can light quality influence growth and phytochemical composition, but it can also induce genetic changes that may lead to desirable traits in ornamental plants. Overall, the study from Cairo University presents a promising technique for improving ornamental plant characteristics through precise and controlled laser irradiation. This approach could potentially be applied to a wide range of plants, offering a new tool for horticulturists and plant breeders to enhance the beauty and diversity of our gardens and landscapes.

BiotechGeneticsPlant Science


Main Study

1) Laser-induced changes in the gene expression, growth and development of Gladiolus grandiflorus cv. "White Prosperity".

Published 15th March, 2024

Related Studies

2) Effects of LED Light Spectra on the Development, Phytochemical Profile, and Antioxidant Activity of Curcuma longa from Easter Island.

3) The Interaction Effect of Laser Irradiation and 6-Benzylaminopurine Improves the Chemical Composition and Biological Activities of Linseed (Linum usitatissimum) Sprouts.

4) Natural Biostimulant Attenuates Salinity Stress Effects in Chili Pepper by Remodeling Antioxidant, Ion, and Phytohormone Balances, and Augments Gene Expression.

Related Articles

An unhandled error has occurred. Reload 🗙