Published on July 24, 2014
Bioluminescence : Bioluminescence Flying and glowing firefly ( Photinus pyralis ) [ 14:14, 20 July 2009 ] PowerPoint Presentation: Bioluminescence is the production and emission of light by a living organism . Its name is a hybrid word , originating from the Greek bios for "living" and the Latin lumen "light". Bioluminescence is a naturally occurring form of chemiluminescence where energy is released by a chemical reaction in the form of light emission. Fireflies , anglerfish , and other creatures produce the chemicals luciferin (a pigment ) and luciferase (an enzyme ). PowerPoint Presentation: 23:50, 15 July 2006 This structure of firefly luciferin is reversed (left to right) from the space-filling model shown above PowerPoint Presentation: Crystal structure of firefly luciferase throws light on a superfamily of adenylate -forming enzymes Firefly luciferase is a 62 kDa protein that catalyzes the production of light. In the presence of Mg ATP and molecular oxygen, the enzyme oxidizes its substrate, firefly luciferin, emitting yellow-green light. The reaction proceeds through activation of the substrate to form an adenylate intermediate. Firefly luciferase shows extensive sequence homology with a number of enzymes that utilize ATP in adenylation reactions. PowerPoint Presentation: The luciferin reacts with oxygen to create light. The luciferase acts as a catalyst to speed up the reaction, which is sometimes mediated by cofactors such as calcium ions or ATP . The chemical reaction can occur either inside or outside the cell. In bacteria , the expression of genes related to bioluminescence is controlled by an operon called the Lux operon based on its diversity and phylogenetic distribution. PowerPoint Presentation: Female of Lampyris noctiluca , the Common Glowworm [ 23:16, 18 June 2005 ] Firefly larva Artistic rendering of bioluminescent Sepioteuthis lessoniana , genera of cuttlefish and squid contain species (2006-10-10) PowerPoint Presentation: Example of a bioluminescent species of mushroom glowing with the lights (2007-05-12) Firefly with and without flash [ 18:57, 24 May 2010 ] The fungus Panellus stipticus displaying Bioluminescence [12 August 2009] PowerPoint Presentation: Bioluminescence occurs in marine vertebrates and invertebrates , as well as microorganisms and terrestrial animals. Symbiotic organisms carried within larger organisms are also known to bioluminesce. Bioluminescence is a form of luminescence , or "cold light" emission ; less than 20% of the light generates thermal radiation . It should not be confused with fluorescence , phosphorescence or refraction of light. Ninety percent of deep-sea marine life are estimated to produce bioluminescence in one form or another. Most marine light-emission belongs in the blue and green light spectrum , the wavelengths that can transmit through the seawater most easily. However, certain loose-jawed fishes emit red and infrared light and the genus Tomopteris emits yellow bioluminescence.