Document Detail

Bacterial bioluminescence as a lure for marine zooplankton and fish.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22203999     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The benefits of bioluminescence for nonsymbiotic marine bacteria have not been elucidated fully. One of the most commonly cited explanations, proposed more than 30 y ago, is that bioluminescence augments the propagation and dispersal of bacteria by attracting fish to consume the luminous material. This hypothesis, based mostly on the prevalence of luminous bacteria in fish guts, has not been tested experimentally. Here we show that zooplankton that contacts and feeds on the luminescent bacterium Photobacterium leiognathi starts to glow, and demonstrate by video recordings that glowing individuals are highly vulnerable to predation by nocturnal fish. Glowing bacteria thereby are transferred to the nutritious guts of fish and zooplankton, where they survive digestion and gain effective means for growth and dispersal. Using bioluminescence as bait appears to be highly beneficial for marine bacteria, especially in food-deprived environments of the deep sea.
Margarita Zarubin; Shimshon Belkin; Michael Ionescu; Amatzia Genin
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2011-12-27
Journal Detail:
Title:  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America     Volume:  109     ISSN:  1091-6490     ISO Abbreviation:  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.     Publication Date:  2012 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-02-06     Completed Date:  2012-03-21     Revised Date:  2013-06-26    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7505876     Medline TA:  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  853-7     Citation Subset:  IM    
Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences, Eilat 88103, Israel.
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MeSH Terms
Aquatic Organisms / microbiology*
Artemia / microbiology
Bacteria / growth & development,  metabolism*
Colony Count, Microbial
Feces / microbiology
Fishes / microbiology*
Gastrointestinal Tract / microbiology
Luminescent Measurements*
Microbial Viability
Photobacterium / metabolism
Predatory Behavior / physiology
Zooplankton / microbiology*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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