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Luminescence. 1999 Jan-Feb;14(1):3-9.

Autoinduction of light emission in different species of bioluminescent bacteria.

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Department of Biochemistry, McGill University, 3655 Drummond, Montreal, PQ, Canada H3G 1Y6.


The production of light in most luminescent bacteria lags behind cellular growth with induction of luminescence only occurring at high cell density. The maximum intensity and the cell density reached before induction of luminescence is highly dependent on the bacterial species and the growth conditions including temperature, salt and nutrient composition as well as other experimental conditions. Although common N-acylhomoserine lactone autoinducers have been identified in Vibrio (Photobacterium) fischeri and Vibrio harveyi, most regulatory components are quite different. Recognition of the common as well as the different elements controlling luminescence in the diverse bacterial species is essential to understand the basis for high levels of light emission at the later stages of cellular growth.

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