Shedding light on bioluminescence regulation in Vibrio fischeri

Tim Miyashiro, Edward G. Ruby

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

116 Scopus citations


The bioluminescence emitted by the marine bacterium Vibrio fischeri is a particularly striking result of individual microbial cells co-ordinating a group behaviour. The genes responsible for light production are principally regulated by the LuxR-LuxI quorum-sensing system. In addition to LuxR-LuxI, numerous other genetic elements and environmental conditions control bioluminescence production. Efforts to mathematically model the LuxR-LuxI system are providing insight into the dynamics of this autoinduction behaviour. The Hawaiian squid Euprymna scolopes forms a natural symbiosis with V. fischeri, and utilizes the symbiont-derived bioluminescence for certain nocturnal behaviours, such as counterillumination. Recent work suggests that the tissue with which V. fischeri associates not only can detect bioluminescence but may also use this light to monitor the V. fischeri population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)795-806
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Microbiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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