The Importance Of Bioluminescence

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Introduction Bioluminescence is the emission of light by living organisms arising by exergonic chemical reactions. The term ‘bioluminescence’ originates from the Greek bios for "living" and the Latin lumen for “cold light" emission as less than 20% of the light generates thermal radiation. This has been reported in many terrestrial and aquatic organisms including bacteria, fungi, insects, algae, squid etc. Some of the bioluminescent organisms occur in symbiotic relationship with the higher organisms. The enzyme that catalyze the bioluminescence reactions is called luciferase, and one of the component substrates is designated as luciferin. Significant differences exist among the reactions of different organisms including the structures and properties…show more content…
The first book devoted to bioluminescence and chemiluminescence was published by Conrad Gesner in 1555. Bioluminescence was first studied by French physiologist, Raphael Dubois in the 19th century. He recognized the chemical nature of the components involved in the bioluminescence. He generated light by mixing hot & cold water extracts from luminous species of West indies beetle Pyrophorus. He later extracted the two key components of a bioluminescent reaction; he coined the terms “luciferine” and “luciferase”. Requirement of oxygen for luminescence was also demonstrated by famous English physicist Robert Boyle in 1667 –demonstrated loss of light on placing rotten wood and fish containing luminescent fungi or bacteria in a vacuum. Charles Darwin, in 1833, observed bioluminescence (which he called phosphorescence) during his voyage around the world as naturalist on the ship named…show more content…
The reaction represents a biochemical shunt of the respiratory electron transport chain carrying electrons from the level of reduced flavin directly to oxygen. FMNH2 reacts first with oxygen to form a linear hydroperoxide which then reacts with long chain fatty aldehyde to give peroxyhemiacetal intermediate. This breaks down to give long chain acid and the intermediate hydroxyflavin in a high energy electronically excited state. One photon is produced for every four molecules of FMNH2 oxidized. In the living cell, light is produced continuously, the oxidized FMN formed in the reaction is reduced again by pyridine nucleotide. Similarly, the myristic acid product is converted back to the corresponding aldehyde by enzymes of a specific fatty acid reductase complex with ATP and NADPH as

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