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  Luminescence is Not Free
From: ted.held at us.henkel.com on 2006.09.27 at 06:13:39(14670)
Keep in mind that there will be an energy
penalty for any plant (or animal) that emits light. The normal plant uses
its energy to produce the necessary items for ordinary life: structures,
DNA, sugars and starches to keep the home fires burning in lean times,
flowers and seeds, etc. If you create an organism that has to scramble
around to find the resources to also produce the cellular ingredients for
luminescence, that plant will be at an energy disadvantage compared with
those that do not have this extra burden. It is like a business environment
where only one business pays taxes. Unless luminescence conveys some reproductive
advantage (and that seems very doubtful for a plant), it will put such
plants first in line for Darwinian extinction. In fireflies, bioluminescence
conveys such reproductive advantage. Of course, human fancy provides a
certain Darwinian advantage if we go to the trouble of culturing such forms.
But in the wild? Slim chance.

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From: Hermine hermine at endangeredspecies.com> on 2006.09.27 at 10:09:40(14675)
At 06:13 AM 9/27/2006, you wrote:
Keep in mind that
there will be an energy penalty for any plant (or animal) that emits
light. The normal plant uses its energy to produce the necessary items
for ordinary life: structures, DNA, sugars and starches to keep the home
fires burning in lean times, flowers and seeds, etc. If you create an
organism that has to scramble around to find the resources to also
produce the cellular ingredients for luminescence, that plant will be at
an energy disadvantage compared with those that do not have this extra
burden. It is like a business environment where only one business pays
taxes. Unless luminescence conveys some reproductive advantage (and that
seems very doubtful for a plant), it will put such plants first in line
for Darwinian extinction. In fireflies, bioluminescence conveys such
reproductive advantage. Of course, human fancy provides a certain
Darwinian advantage if we go to the trouble of culturing such forms. But
in the wild? Slim chance.
Ted
well this sounds true and should provide a measure of relief for folks
who worry about the luminescent monstrosities taking over the world and
throttling the life out of the other plants. Of course the OTHER plants
could practice photosynthesis after sundown, utilizing the light of the
bioluminescent plants, and establish a symbiotic relationship. possibly
fireflies and algae could participate in the whole life cycle.
hermine

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From: "mossytrail" mossytrail at hctc.com> on 2006.09.28 at 19:16:33(14698)
> well this sounds true and should provide a measure of
> relief for folks who worry about the luminescent
> monstrosities taking over the world and throttling the
> life out of the other plants. Of course the OTHER plants
> could practice photosynthesis after sundown, utilizing
> the light of the bioluminescent plants, and establish a
> symbiotic relationship. possibly fireflies and algae
> could participate in the whole life cycle.
>
Or... you may have heard of those orchids in Britain with
flowers that mimic female bees, thus deceptively luring in
drone bees as pollinators? Well, suppose the
bioluminescence in our hypothetical plant was confined to
the flowers, which bloom at night; then, if it flashed on
and off in a pattern like that of a female firefly, the
plant could achieve pollination by male fireflies.

Jason Hernandez

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From: Hermine hermine at endangeredspecies.com> on 2006.09.28 at 20:49:37(14702)
Or... you may have heard of those orchids in Britain with
flowers that mimic female bees, thus deceptively luring in
drone bees as pollinators? Well, suppose the
bioluminescence in our hypothetical plant was confined to
the flowers, which bloom at night; then, if it flashed on
and off in a pattern like that of a female firefly, the
plant could achieve pollination by male fireflies.

Jason Hernandez

perhaps it could be induced to send morse code disinformation to our
enemies. Moss Code, it could be called. I'm lichen this idea more and more.

hermine

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