Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

The Grass Is Always Shorter

PostedMay 22, 2004

Download File (mp3)

There may be a way to slow the growth of grass so you only have to mow a few times each season, though researchers say don't get rid of your lawnmower just yet.  Students at Washington University in St. Louis have engineered DNA to control a hormone that makes plants grow.  And another biology class, at the University of Rhode Island, has put that DNA into laboratory turf grass cells.  The engineered grass should look just like what's in your backyard, but grow more slowly.  Even if it works, careful studies will have to be done to make sure that the new pieces of DNA can't find their way into other plants.  But the potential environmental benefits include less lawnmower pollution and noise.  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP Radio.