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  [Aroid-l] Luminescence is Not Free
From: ted.held at us.henkel.com on 2006.09.27 at 13:13:39(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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