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Bioluminescence

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Megan Iafrati

on 9 June 2011

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Transcript of Bioluminescence

Bioluminescence The Science bioluminescence [balumnsns]
n
(Life Sciences & Allied Applications / Biochemistry) the production of light by living organisms as a result of the oxidation of a light-producing substance (luciferin) by the enzyme luciferase What things are bioluminescent? How does bioluminescence work? Can animals give off different colors? In the media Can trees really glow? No silly! insects deep marine life fungi microorganisms (fishy!) whale shark chemical energy is converted to light energy without giving off heat "cold light" It is estimated that 90% of deep-sea animals produce some sort of bioluminescence. Considering that a large proportion of the visible light spectrum is absorbed before reaching the deep sea, most of the emitted light from the sea-animals is blue and green. However, some species may emit a red and infrared light, and there has even been a genus that is found to emit yellow bioluminescence. theories of bioluminescent traits Camouflage
In some squid species bacterial bioluminescence is used for counterillumination so the animal matches the overhead environmental light seen from below.[3] In these animals, photoreceptive vesicles have been found that control the contrast of this illumination to create optimal matching.[3] Usually these light organs are separate from the tissue containing the bioluminescent bacteria. However, in one species Euprymna scolopes these bacteria make up an integral component of the animal's light organ.[4]



The cookiecutter shark uses bioluminescence for camouflage, but a small patch on its underbelly remains dark and appears as a small fish to large predatory fish like tuna and mackerel swimming beneath it. When these fish try to consume the "small fish", they are bitten by the shark, which gouges out small circular "cookie cutter" shaped chunks of flesh from its hosts. The organ responsible for bioluminescence is known as a photophore and controls the color and intensity of light that is produced. Illumination
While most marine bioluminescence is green to blue, the Black Dragonfish produces a red glow. This adaptation allows the fish to see red-pigmented prey, which are normally invisible in the deep ocean environment where red light has been filtered out by the water column. Communication
Communication between bacteria (quorum sensing) plays a role in the regulation of luminesence in many bacterial species. Using small extracellularly secreted molecules, they are able to adapt their behavior to only turn on genes for light production when they are at high cell densities. Repulsion
Certain squid and small crustaceans use bioluminescent chemical mixtures or bioluminescent bacterial slurries in the same way as many squid use ink. A cloud of luminescence is expelled, confusing or repelling a potential predator while the squid or crustacean escapes to safety. Every species of firefly has larvae that glow to repel predators. The attraction of mates is another proposed mechanism of bioluminescent action. This is seen actively in fireflies, which use periodic flashing in their abdomens to attract mates in the mating season. In the marine environment this has only been well documented in certain small crustaceans called ostracod. It has been suggested that pheromones may be used for long-distance communication, and bioluminescence used at close range to "home in" on the target. Attraction
Firefly larvaBioluminescence is used as a lure to attract prey by several deep sea fish such as the anglerfish. A dangling appendage that extends from the head of the fish attracts small animals to within striking distance of the fish. Some fish, however, use a non-bioluminescent lure. There are five main theories for bioluminescent traits: adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is the energy source used to help facilitate the reaction,
it is made in a cell organelle called the mitochondrion The oxyluciferin is initially in an excited state; by relaxing back to the ground state, energy is released and light is emitted (Ugarova and Brovko 2002). molecular structure of luceferin and for those of you who didn't understand the chemistry behind it... ATP controls the intensity of the light http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CiSwS0neRYI black dragon fish
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