Marine Bioluminescence Term Paper

Related Topics:

Marine Bioluminescence Bioluminescence can be discovered across an extensive selection of some of the key categories of organisms. This includes classifications such as bacteria and protists and also squid as well as ?she's, with numerous phyla amid them. In many of these organisms, luminescence is made by these organisms themselves and never by bacterial symbionts. A few organisms in this category that are not considered to be self-illuminescents are (1) terrestrial vertebrates, such as birds, mammals and amphibians (2) ?owering plants. Luminescence is usually higher in deep-living species along with planktonic ones than in shallow organisms (Haddock et al., 2010).

A summary of known luminous organisms had been documented by Herring (1987). However, since that time there have been a number of new discoveries of luminous organisms. In some instances, it is very difficult to determine that the species are nonluminous. Amid ?lter-feeding species, luminescence is very difficult to inspect. This is because it is not easy (in some cases even impossible) to split up the organism from ingested and interlinked protists as well as microbes. Bryozoans, Sponges along with Cyclosalpa species have been regularly classified as luminous. However some researchers, including Herring (1987), classify them as non- illuminescents. Most of the composites significant to pharmacology, not including sponges, have ended up being bacterial in their origin (Taylor et al. 2007).

The allocation of bioluminescence over the major taxonomic groupings does not actually pursue any apparent phylogenetic or even oceanographic restriction. Luminescence can be seen in protists, which are siliceous in nature (2 kinds of "radiolarians"). However they cannot be seen in coccolithophorids or even calcareous foraminifera. In comparison, luminescence may be absent in siliceous phytoplankton (also known as diatoms) and can be found in calcareous echinoderms as well as molluscs. Amid cnidarians, holoplanktonic roots might be nearly entirely luminous (as in the case of narcomedusae, trachymedusae) or completely nonluminous (as in the case of Cubozoa). Furthermore, benthic Anthozoan groups might have a number of luminous taxa (such as Octocorals) or they may have none (such as anemones as well as stony corals). Parasites are one marine organism classification that's overwhelmingly non-bioluminescent, except for hyperiid amphipods, which is bioluminescent. Each and every major root-classification includes nested degrees of intricacies regarding the current presence of luminescence. In a few of these clades, such as chaetognaths as well as ascidians, there might be just a few luminescent species, and in the others, such as ctenophores as well as siphonophores, all but one or two genera might be luminescent (Haddock et al., 2010).

Origins of Evolution

Bioluminescence is usually made by the process of oxidation. This process takes place amid molecules within the organism that emit light. The generic name for one of these molecules is luciferin; and the other one is an enzyme, either a photoprotein or a luciferase. Furthermore, nonsymbiotic luminous organisms hold the genetic material for their photoprotein or luciferase, and sometimes even for the light-producing luciferin itself. It is not easy to gauge the amount of times bioluminescence has developed without outside assistance (Independent formation). The main problem is classifying what the term "independent formation" means. With regards to bacterial symbionts, the trait might have developed only once for the bacteria. However, each and every ?sh or squid family that utilizes those microbes has got to evolve specific light organs to not only host but also maintain this light emitting culture. Experts assert that bioluminescent molluscs alone independently reach at least seven different methods to make light. To create a rough approximation, researchers have summed the amount of different light-evolving chemical mechanisms over their monophyletic roots (family classifications), to calculate that bioluminescence has evolved no less than 40 times. Some predict that this figure is conservative and the actual figure is likely a lot more than 50 (Haddock et al., 2010).

Because the capability to create light has evolved often, this shows that it's vital to organisms. Furthermore, it also illustrates that its development and evolution ought to be relatively simple. While counterintuitive, this can be partly related to easily available light- producing luciferins in not only luminous but also nonluminous organisms. Consequently, a predator simply needs to create a luciferase in an effort to start the production of light. Research has shown that bioluminescence more easily develop if antioxidant molecules, which occur naturally, happen to be contained in an organism, and when light emission is really an offshoot of these molecules' chemical reaction in the search of reactive oxygen species. In addition, dietary linkages claim...


This is because it has to appear in the predators after the formation and evolution of luciferins in the prey. For effectiveness, an association amid sighted predators can also be required. Furthermore in some cases the fossil record as well as dates of phylogenetic separation calculated with the help of molecular clocks might help trace the origins of luciferins used by particular groups. However, at present it is not easy to cut down the number within one hundred million years. In addition, researchers claim two even roots (family classifications) related to ostracod crustaceans (Myodocopida and Halocyprida) that utilize two distinct luciferins are believed to have deviated more than four hundred million years. This researchers claims that this the maximum age for the recognized luminescence structures. The ?sh classifications, known as Stomiiformes, have been bioluminescent throughout their existence and they are considered to have originated in the Albian age of the first Cretaceous, nearly one hundred million years ago. The origin of another classification, the stomiids, can be calculated more successfully due to the presence of a hatchet-sh from twelve million years, which gives the impression to be remarkably similar to its contemporary counterparts (Carnevale 2008).
The significance of bioluminescence can also be underscored by its extensive presence in the oceans; be it the deep sea, or the poles or the tropics. Actually, for all marine animals, their key visual stimulus originates from biologically produced light instead of sunlight (Haddock et al., 2010).

Functions of Bioluminescence:

Bioluminescence performs several functions for ocean organisms. Furthermore, it usually performs numerous roles for just one organism. While deducing the ecological roles of bioluminescence, one of the warnings is that the light emission's appearance in nature may not be mirrored by the kinds of light emission observed in laboratory experiments. Therefore, human vocalization is an anti-predatory response, which can be shown by one's cry out when poked. The significance of luminescence can be at a meticulous productive state. This meticulous productive state can be classified as the medusa stage of a hydroid, or the temporarily planktonic larva of a benthic worm. The significance can also be stated with the female octopod Japetella, in a specific reproductive period. In labs, it is hard to replicate controlled and darkened conditions (as in the deep seas) and then observe animal behaviors; this is true even when animals are in fine condition. Despite the aforementioned difficulties, bioluminescence carries on to be a very hopeful ground for future discoveries, and recently some highly well-designed studies have been conducted on the functions of marine bioluminescence (Haddock et al., 2010).

In probably the most general sense, bioluminescent emissions are believed to work as attractant gestures, while abrupt ?ashes act as repellents. One aspect to consider in this deduction is the area wherein the light or the flash in emitted. This is because a ?ash emitted at a small distance can nevertheless attract attention from far away. Researchers assert that within the fundamental types of either defense or offense or communication lays a number of theoretical functions, which are described below (Haddock et al., 2010).

Defensive Applications

Researchers have found a lot more defensive functions of bioluminescence than offensive ones. As indicated earlier, whenever a bright ?ash is emitted at small distance, bioluminescence is inferred to shock predators, which makes them indecisive. The predator may find it hard to locate its dodging prey when bioluminescence is radiated due to which the display takes the form of a glowing fluid, a smoke screen or a cloud of sparks. This behavior is visible in numerous animals, which includes ctenophores, copepods, tube-shoulder searsiid ?she's, shrimp, tube-shoulder searsiid ?she's, and siphonophores, a chaetognath, and the vampire squid, which although do not have an ink sac but it secretes a cloud of luminous emissions from the tip of its arms. Organisms such as the deep-sea squid Octopoteuthis deletron might autotomize luminous areas of the body, which in turn continue steadily to move and ?ash to push away the interest of predators (Bush et al. 2009).

Apparently more prevalent, but detected only anecdotally, has been the utilization of a sacri-cial tag. In this case, an organism might lose element of its human body to a predatory attack. These missing tissues can continue to glow steadily all night afterwards, even inside the predator's abdomen. In deep sea, where lucidity is paramount, the gleaming tissue can draw focus on the predator, which makes it risky to eat bioluminescent organisms. This is regarded as the discriminating force driving the current presence of several black, orange and even red spots…

Sources Used in Documents:


Bush SL, Robison BH, Caldwell RL. 2009. Behaving in the dark: locomotor, chromatic, postural, and biolu- minescent behaviors of the deep-sea squid Octopoteuthis deletron Young 1972. Biol. Bull. 216:7 -- 22

Carnevale G. 2008. Miniature deep-sea hatchet-sh (Teleostei: Stomiiformes) from the Miocene of Italy. Geol. Mag. 145:73

Fleisher KJ, Case JF. 1995. Cephalopod predation facilitated by dino-agellate luminescence. Biol. Bull. 189:263 -- 71

Fristrup KM, Harbison G. 2002. How do sperm whales catch squids? Mar. Mammal Sci. 18:42 -- 54

Cite this Document:

"Marine Bioluminescence" (2011, December 02) Retrieved June 13, 2024, from

"Marine Bioluminescence" 02 December 2011. Web.13 June. 2024. <>

"Marine Bioluminescence", 02 December 2011, Accessed.13 June. 2024,

Related Documents

.. provide nourishment for the small organisms on which jellyfish feed. In waters where there is eutrophication, low oxygen levels often result, favoring jellyfish as they thrive in less oxygen-rich water than fish can tolerate. The fact is that jellyfish are increasing is a symptom of something happening in the ecosystem." Researchers have been the ones that have as well contended that in some arias, such as the Gulf of Mexico

Zoology Relics of Human Evolution Vemeonasal organ. The vemeonasal organ is a little pit on each side of the septum that is lined with nonfunctioning chemoreceptors. It may have been used for pheromone-detecting ability. Extrinsic ear muscles. These three muscles most likely made it possible for prehominids to move their ears independently, in the manner of many mammals, such as rabbits and dogs. Many people can learn to wiggle their ears because of

Animals Communications

Animal Communication may be defined as the transmission of a signal from one animal to another such that the sender benefits, on average, from the response of the recipient (Pearce). According to Robert Mannell this definition allows for the inclusion of many types of behavior and permits communication to be applied to a great range of animals. Natural animal communication can include chemical signals, smell, movement, posture, facial gestures, visual

The chemical was found to turn on quorum sensing in V. fischeri, whereas it inhibited pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Also, the slow-release was shown to be far more effective than by applying the chemical directly as an aqueous solution. Since quorum sensing is also important for pathogen establishment this application could be important for inhibiting pathogenic bacteria from colonization of internal medical devices. In summary, the V. fischeri and squid symbiotic

BACTERIA Pseudomonas Bacteria This study concerns the Pseudomonas type bacterium strains that have, in recent years, become more of a concern for medical professionals. The primary issue is that several different types of the bacteria, especially pseudomonas aeruginosa, have been shown to have a resistance to many common antibiotics. Another issue with this genus is that it is a very common type of bacteria that naturally occurs in the soil, in plant