Albino Plant Info: How Do Plants Having No Chlorophyll Grow
The first thing you need to know about albino plants is they are not born with no chlorophyll. They have a gene mutation which causes them to lack chlorophyll.
A normal human being has between 20% and 30% chlorophyll in their blood cells. Albino humans usually have less than 10%.
A person with no chlorophyll cannot make any pigments from sunlight. These pigments are needed for photosynthesis.
Without these pigments, there is nothing but darkness inside the body. Some albino humans can survive without light at all, but most will eventually go blind or die because they lose their ability to see in the dark.
Albino humans can live a very long time if they don’t get too old and if they eat enough food. Albino humans can even reproduce.
However, the only way to produce offspring is through artificial means such as cloning. There are several different types of albinos. One type is called “Lacko” (short for “lacking pigment”) and it’s rarer than other forms of albinism. Lacko albinos have a genetic defect that prevents them from making melanin, the pigment that gives skin its color. All mammals with this condition have it happen in the womb, so they’re typically born pink and without hair. They also lack the ability to tan and have very sensitive skin. A slightly different form of albinism is called “Caucasian” and it’s slightly less rare. This is when a person has two copies of a recessive albino gene and their parents are normally colored (carriers). These people have white or pink hair, but more normal colored skin. Other types of albinism are extremely rare and only happen in one area of the world, while others are so rare that only a few people have ever been born with it in history.
Albinism is not contagious at all. It’s a genetic condition that happens by chance.
Most plants and animals are not albino because they need to have color. However, there are some exceptions such as white peacocks, white lobsters, etc. Albino animals and plants DO NOT make pigment, so someone who eats albino humans will not turn white.
Albino plants can be a challenge because they have no protection from the sun. These plants are like humans who have no skin pigment and burn easily.
You might think an albino plant would be protected from the sun by its leaves, but that is not always true. Even plants need sunlight to survive! Most plants do not have skin so they can’t tan and must find ways of protecting themselves from the sun. Leaves are one such method, but they won’t help an albino plant since they have no chlorophyll.
There are two main types of albino plants in the world: plants that lose their leaves and plants that never grow them in the first place.
Albino Plants That Lose Their Leaves
These plants still start out with leaves, but they lose them as soon as they sprout. There are several types of these plants.
One common one is the “thin plant”. These plants start out looking like any other normal plant. They grow leaves on long stalks that hang over the ground (sort of like a green umbrella). Over time, the plant starves due to lack of chlorophyll. The leaves wither and die, turning brown and shriveling up. The plant will eventually only have a few inches of stem left with nothing but a few shriveled leaves left clinging onto it.
The next most common type of albino plant loses its leaves gradually. The plant starts out with long green leaves that dangle over the ground, but as it starts to starve the leaves turn yellow and start to curl up towards the stalk.
Sources & references used in this article:
Action spectra for the inhibition of hypocotyl growth by continuous irradiation in light and dark-grown Sinapis alba L. seedlings by CJ Beggs, MG Holmes, M Jabben, E Schäfer – Plant Physiology, 1980 – Am Soc Plant Biol
Role of carotenoids in protecting chlorophyll from photodestruction by IC Anderson, DS Robertson – Plant Physiology, 1960 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Microspore embryogenesis: assignment of genes to embryo formation and green vs. albino plant production by M Muñoz-Amatriaín, JT Svensson, AM Castillo… – Functional & integrative …, 2009 – Springer
Acclimation processes in the light-harvesting system of the cyanobacterium Anacystis nidulans following a light shift from white to red light by JHC Smith, VMK Young – Radiation biology, 1956 – McGraw‐Hill
The action spectrum for the transformation of protochlorophyll to chlorophyll a in normal and albino corn seedlings by A Lönneborg, LK Lind, SR Kalla, P Gustafsson… – Plant …, 1985 – Am Soc Plant Biol
Maternal inheritance of chlorophyll in maize by VM Koski, CS French, JHC Smith – Archives of biochemistry and biophysics, 1951 – Elsevier
The effects of red, blue, and white light-emitting diodes on the growth, development, and edible quality of hydroponically grown lettuce (Lactuca sativa L. var. capitata) by EG Anderson – Botanical Gazette, 1923 – journals.uchicago.edu