Bacterial Bioluminescence - A General overview

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Bioluminescence is the process by which certain living organisms produce light through a seriesof enzymatically   catalyzed  biochemical reactions  (Brodl  et al., 2018). Any organism   that iscapable of exhibiting or carrying out bioluminescence is termed a  bioluminescent organism.Bioluminescence is a phenomenon that has been found in almost all branches of the evolutionarytree   (Tyulkova  et   al.,   2009),   meaning   that   representative   organisms   from   most   domains   orkingdoms of classifications have been identified. In general, bioluminescent organisms includebacteria, mushroom, dinoflagellates, shrimps, insects, squids, fishes, etc. (Johnston, 2019).However, some organisms that appear to emit light are not in themselves bioluminescent. Suchorganisms usually utilize the light emitting ability of other bioluminescent organisms to achievecertain   functions.   For   example,   certain   fishes   living   in   the   deep   sea   marine   habitats   takeadvantage of the light-emitting ability of some bioluminescent bacteria with which they form asymbiotic relationship and appear to be bioluminescent. The bacteria colonize a particular organon the fishes’ body (called the photophore or light organ) where it acquires nutrients necessaryfor its growth and in return, produces light which the fishes use to their advantage (Meighen etal., 2009). In fact, most organisms in the marine habitat and some on the terrestrial habitat thatappear  to  be  bioluminescent   actually  depend   on the  light  emitting  ability  of  bioluminescentbacteria. For this reason, and coupled with the fact that they are found in abundance in marineenvironments, bioluminescent bacteria are considered to be the most widely distributed lightemitting organisms (Meighen et al., 2009; Reynolds et al., 2011; Dele side et al., 2017).Therefore, the phenomenon of light emission by bacteria will be the element of focus in this work.

 Table of Content

1.0 Introduction

2.0 Bacterial Bioluminescence

2.1 Distribution of Bioluminescent Bacteria

2.2 Classification of Bioluminescent Bacteria

2.3 Morphological Characteristics and Properties of Bioluminescent Bacteria

2.4 Association of Bioluminescent Bacteria with other organisms

2.5 Benefits of Bioluminescence to Luminous Bacteria

2.6 Components of The Bioluminescent System in Bacteria

2.6.1 Luciferase

2.6.2 Fatty Aldehyde

2.6.3 Reduced Flavin Mononucleotide (FMNH2)

2.6.4 Molecular Oxygen (O2)

3.0 The Lux Operon

3.1 Gene Expression of the lux Operon

4.0 Mechanism of bacterial bioluminescence

4.1 The Quorum Sensing Mechanism of Gene Regulation in Luminous Bacteria

4.2 Color Changes in the Type of Light Emitted

4.3 Applications of Bacterial Bioluminescence

5.0 Conclusion

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Salihu, A. (2020). Bacterial Bioluminescence - A General overview. Afribary. Retrieved from

MLA 8th

Salihu, Aminu "Bacterial Bioluminescence - A General overview" Afribary. Afribary, 19 Jul. 2020, Accessed 07 Dec. 2021.


Salihu, Aminu . "Bacterial Bioluminescence - A General overview". Afribary, Afribary, 19 Jul. 2020. Web. 07 Dec. 2021. < >.


Salihu, Aminu . "Bacterial Bioluminescence - A General overview" Afribary (2020). Accessed December 07, 2021.