"Bluntly put, not all GMOs are equal," Holmes told Fox News. "It depends on what plant you're using, genes you're using, and what you're using it for." The risks are higher when plants in question are intended for human consumption, but Arabidopsis is just a weed. In terms of invasive species danger, risks also plant-specific. "This depends partly on how easy it is for the plant involved to spread its pollen and therefore its genes to other plants," Holmes said.
For Arabidopsis, that would be a hard thing to do, said Kyle Taylor, the molecular and plant biologist at Glowing Plant. Arabidopsis is primarily a self-pollinating herb. "Ask any Arabidopsis biologist how hard it is to get them cross-pollinated and they will tell you that it's a non-trivial thing to do," Tylor told Fox News. He adds that it will be harder for the hybrid to survive because light production takes extra energy, which weakens the plant. The hybrid may even confuse its own light with sunlight, Tylor said, which may negatively affect its metabolism. "If you put a regular Arabidopsis next to a glowing one," Tylor said, "the glowing one looks less happy." Holmes says one may never know in advance how the new specie would behave, but the luminous modification "won't give it any better weed power" -- compared to, let say, canola that's genetically modified to resist herbicide.