In plants, the absence of the retinal cofactor hinders the implementation of light-gated ion channels and optogenetic control of membrane potentials through rhodopsins. The engineering of β-carotene conversion into retinal now makes this powerful approach possible.
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The authors declare no competing interests.
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Urquiza-Garcia, U., Zurbriggen, M.D. Biofortifying green optogenetics. Nat. Plants 7, 104–105 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41477-021-00860-x