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J Bacteriol. Oct 1970; 104(1): 313–322.
PMCID: PMC248216

Cellular Control of the Synthesis and Activity of the Bacterial Luminescent System1

Abstract

In bioluminescent bacteria growing in shake flasks, the enzyme luciferase has been shown to be synthesized in a relatively short burst during the period of exponential growth. The luciferase gene appears to be completely inactive in a freshly inoculated culture; the pulse of preferential luciferase synthesis which occurs later is the consequence of its activation at the level of deoxyribonucleic acid transcription which is attributed to an effect of a “conditioning” of the medium by the growing of cells. Although cells grown in a minimal medium also exhibit a similar burst of synthesis of the luminescent system, the amount of synthesis is quantitatively less, relative to cell mass. Under such conditions, added arginine results in a striking stimulation of bioluminescence. This is attributed to a stimulation of existing patterns of synthesis and not to induction or derepression per se.

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Selected References

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  • Coffey JJ. Inducible synthesis of bacterial luciferase: specificity and kinetics of induction. J Bacteriol. 1967 Nov;94(5):1638–1647. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • FARGHALY AH. Factors influencing the growth and light production of luminous bacteria. J Cell Physiol. 1950 Oct;36(2):165–183. [PubMed]
  • HASTINGS JW, RILEY WH, MASSA J. THE PURIFICATION PROPERTIES, AND CHEMILUMINESCENT QUANTUM YIELD OF BACTERIAL LUCIFERASE. J Biol Chem. 1965 Mar;240:1473–1481. [PubMed]
  • Hastings JW, Weber K, Friedland J, Eberhard A, Mitchell GW, Gunsalus A. Structurally distinct bacterial luciferases. Biochemistry. 1969 Dec;8(12):4681–4689. [PubMed]
  • Kempner ES, Hanson FE. Aspects of light production by Photobacterium fischeri. J Bacteriol. 1968 Mar;95(3):975–979. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • TSUJI FI, DAVIS DL. A quantitative photometric method for studying the reaction between Cypridina luciferase and specific antibody. J Immunol. 1959 Feb;82(2):153–160. [PubMed]

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