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Bioluminescence By: Monica, Joysan, Melany, and Paul
What is bioluminescence? • Light from Bioluminescence is the production of light in living organisms as the result of a chemical reaction with little or no heat produced. • Bioluminescence occurs in a wide variety of organisms. Ex: certain bacteria, fungi, marine invertebrates, fish, glow – worms and fireflies (last 2 are the best know examples). • This is the only source of light in most of the habitat volume of ocean. • Bioluminescence is cold light. • Bioluminescent is produced with very little radiation light.
How does it work? • Bioluminescence generates through the chemical reaction of two substances. • These substances are luciferin – a protein that produces light – and oxygen • When these substances react an energy of light is produced. • However, for this light to be visible luciferase is needed. Luciferase acts as the catalyst, speeding up the reaction. • There have also been cases where luciferan, oxygen, and luciferase have reacted together to form photoprotein. As a result, an ion is needed for the bioluminescence reaction to work.
How is it used?Where and when is it used? • It is mostly being used by ocean species, and by some land species . • Animals use it as a camouflage, to attract other animals, and to repel other species that can be harmful to them.
Examples • Some jellyfish can produce light in their bodies. • There are two types of chemicals in the bodies of these jellyfish luciferin and luciferinase. • When triggered the luciferin gets oxidized by the action of the luciferinase. • When thses two chemicals react they result in a photoprotein. This photoprotein is the cause of the bluish glow.
Examples • Glowing mushrooms grow in Japan’s rainy season. • They sprout from fallen chinquapin trees. • As they frow, a chemical reaction involving luciferin occurs causing the ghostly green glow. • These mushrooms can grow up to about 1 inch in diameter, but because the mushrooms are prone to dehydration, they only have a few days to live once rain stops.
Examples • Adult fireflies have a light producing organ on their abdomens. • A fireflies bioluminescence is produced by a chemical reaction within its body. Calcium, Adenosine Triphosphate(ATP), the substance luciferin, and the enzyme luciferase must all be present in the light organ. • The oxygen triggers the reaction between these ingredients in light energy, causing the firefly to be able to glow.
Examples Fireflies, use periodic flashing in their abdomens to attract mates in the mating season.