3 Apr 2014

Ultraviolet Light and Plant Growth

From Our Changing World, 9:06 pm on 3 April 2014

Jason Wargent and Warren Bebb in front a top-secret glasshousePalmerston North-based start-up company BioLumic plans to harness the power of ultraviolet light to grow hardier, more pest-resistant crops with longer shelf lives and greater nutritional value. The idea builds on basic research carried out by Massey University’s Jason Wargent, who studies how ultraviolet light regulates photosynthesis and development in plants.

Jason, who is BioLumic’s Chief Science Officer, was last year awarded a Fast-Start Marsden grant to carry on this work. Alison joins Jason and Warren Bebb from BioLumic to hear about the science of plants and UV, as well as early trials of BioLumic’s technology which has resulted in impressive yield increases in a trial crop. In the photo above Jason (left) and Warren (right) are standing in front of a glasshouse where classified trials are being carried out for a commercial grower (image: A. Ballance).

The commercialisation of BioLumic is supported by the BioCommerce Centre (BCC) and angel investment from the Global from Day One programme.

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