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Bioluminescence - visual signaling - bioluminescent signaling

  • through chemical reactions or bacteria (eg. dinoflagelates emit light when agitated):
    • absorb light
    • emit light
    • scatter light
  • all energy is transferred into light (no heat emission) – energy aquired from the sun or food
  • used for:
    • finding food
    • attracting mates
    • defense/camouflage
  • light organs: systems of lenses, mirrors, irises, light guides , color filters and shutters
  • organs: suckers (shallow water) - light organs (deep ocean) – both used for communication
  • interensting transformations in the following organisms:
    • luminous responses in gelatinous species (jellies): – The hydromedusa Aequorea victoria is probably the most famous bio luminescent marine organism. Calcium-activated photoprotein and green-fluorescent protein (GFP) were first discovered and cloned from this cnidarian.
    • octopus
    • squid
    • cuttlefish
    • bact. Vibrio fisceri does not emit light until the population of cells has reached a concentrated culture:
      • population density influences light emission
      • population can sense its own concentration
      • quorum sensing + cell to cell communication:
        • a. send: cell announcing their existence to their neighbours +determining whether many cells are present (through a signal molecule)
        • b. receive message
        • c. translate message
        • d. act upon message (emit light)

general info



catalog information

fun with bioluminescent bacteria

Here are all the instructions you will need for growing temperate-tropical dinoflagellates in a lab (or at home) →

from the 'interesting organism” section →

luminous_organism.txt · Last modified: 2007/06/12 12:56 (external edit)