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Millions and everincreasing
I should be sequenced because...: I'm Britains most toxic plant. But my genome holds secrets to how my toxins can be used to prevent pests to produce more food for the world.
One sentence about me...: I'm tall, toxic and have mastered the art of conquering the world.
I’m a stout, tall and toxic fellow – a monster towering up to 20ft tall. I was introduced in Britain as an ornamental plant in the 1920s and since there is there is no looking back. I have conquered the world, by spreading my territory and troubling anyone who touches me. The secret is that I produce up to 50,000 seeds, but I begin dying after they have set seed.
The toxin from in my leaves, roots, stems, flowers, and seeds, called furanocoumarin interacts with the DNA and when comes in contact with sunlight, becomes toxic causing bad blisters on the skin along with other allergic reactions.
I can get as tall as 20ft! Notice that the man wears a special bodysuit in order not be stung, otherwise he might get blind!
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Prickly, toxic and invasive
What's it like where you live?
I come from the mystic mountains of Central Asia. But it's the age of globalisation and we are now citizens of the world spreading from Asia to America. Some of us find it peaceful living in the Swiss Alps and some of us prefer to hipster towns and settlements.
What's your favourite food?
I like soil, but I don't soil.
What's your family life like?
We love to live in herds.
Are you endangered or threatened by anything?
I am fearless and footloose. I endanger the ecosystem, no one can disturb me.
What's the best thing about you/interesting fact?
I am GIANT, my toxins are activated by light and cause blisters if you touch me.