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Brief information about luminous bacteria

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The investigation of the World Ocean bioluminescence showed the luminous bacteria to be among the most numerous unicellular inhabitants of sea waters. Bioluminescence is one of the forms of a chemiluminescent reaction, the final product of which is visible light [Hastings, 1968, Gitelson et al., 1984]:

FMNH2 + RCHO + O2 --------------------------> FMN + RCOOH + H2O + light

The unique specific culture collection of luminous marine bacteria (IBSO CC) has been maintained and enlarged in the Institute of Biophysics of RAN SB (Krasnoyarsk) for many years. There are no collections like that anywhere within Russia or the former Soviet Union. There are luminous bacteria in the National Collection NCMB (England), in the American Type Cultures Collection ATCC (USA), in the All-Russian Collection of Microorganisms (VKM, Russia) and in some other collection.
The collection dates back to the 60's and includes about 700 strains belonging to 4 species: Photobacterium phosphoreum, P.leiognathi, Vibrio harveyi and V. fischeri. They were isolated in various regions of the Indian, the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans, of the Black, Mediterranean and other seas, from tropical to polar latitudes and from the surface layers to the depth of several thousand meters. The type strains of luminous bacteria there are in the Collection IBSO also. Luminous bacteria are the constant, and in some cases rather substantial component of the sea water microflora, constituting 0.1 to 10% of the total amount of saprophytic bacteria in open waters and 60-70% in the lagoons of coral atolls [Chumakova, Gitelson, 1975].
Collection strains of luminous bacteria, associated with marine fauna, are represented by symbiontes isolated from light organs, and commensals inhabiting the gastrointestinal tract [Gitelson, Vorobyova, 1986, 1988; Primakova, Kuznetsov, 1990; Vydryakova et al., 1995, Vydryakova, Kuznetsov, 1997].
Luminous bacteria are gram-negative bacilli, facultative anaerobes. Insignificant oxygen concentrations are enough for them to grow and emit light. Like many other marine microorganisms, luminous bacteria are halophilous. The medium in which they can grow and develop must contain sodium ions (2-3% NaCl) which can not be substituted for by potassium or magnesium ions. The optimum pH values for growth and luminescence of luminous bacteria are close to 7.0, very rarely exceeding 7.5. Most of Collection strains are mesophylls, the Collection also holds psychrophilic strains. Thermophilic luminous forms have not been recorded [Chumakova, Gitelson, 1975; Gitelson et al., 1984]. The Collection holds dim and dark variants of luminescent forms (spontaneous and specially produced) [Gitelson et al., 1984, Rodicheva et al., 1998, 2000, Gitelson et al., 2000].
The technique of in vitro molecular DNA/DNA hybridization and luminescent reaction kinetics were used to determine the similarity between the DNA nucleotide sequences of unidentified psychrophilic and mesophilic strains of luminous bacteria [Vorobyova et al., 1982, Primakova et al., 1983a,?, 1986]. There have been many studies on physiological and biochemical features of the growth and luminescence of luminous bacteria [Petushkov et al., 1982, 1984, 1985, Popova, 1982, Popova et al., 1982, Rodionova et al., 1988, Shenderov et al., 1989, Kalacheva et al., 1990, Kudryasheva et al., 1990, 1991, 1993, Rodicheva et al., 1991, 1993, 1997, Primakova, Sandalova, 1991, Petushkov, Raibekas, 1990a,b, Raibekas, 1991, Sandalova, Tyulkova, 1992, Kratasyuk et al., 1994, Sokolova et al., 2000, Sukovataya, Tyulkova, 2000, 2001]. The selection of optimal rations of some components of the medium for the growth and luminescence of luminous bacteria belonging to the genus Photobacterium has been done by the methods of experimental design. Examination of 4 species of luminous bacteria have enabled us to reveal the nutrient medium components effecting growth, luminescence intensity and luciferase synthesis. These agents are nucleic components (nucleotides, nucleosides and amine basis), aminoacids and vitamins [Rodicheva et al., 1973, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1997]. The dependence of luciferase content and luminescence intensity of luminous bacteria on dilution rate at their cultivation in chemostat regime is studied [Gitelson et al., 1984]. The investigation of the peculiarities of luminescent system development in luminous bacteria in diauxic growth was carried out [Vysotski et al., 1982]. The kinetics of pyruvic acid production by luminescent bacteria was studied during its growth in composite and minimal media with glucose as a carbon source. The bacteria were shown to form the major quantity of pyruvate upon glucose catabolism [Andreyeva et al., 1981]. The composition of lipids was studied in the luminescent bacteria under the conditions of maximal luminescence. The synthesis of total lipids and poly-?-hydroxybutyric acid was investigated in dynamics under the conditions of P.leiognathi batch cultivation. The fatty acid composition of luminous bacteria and dark mutants was studied in dynamics [Kalacheva et al., 1980, 1981a,b]. It was studied the cell morphology and ultrastructure of some strains of P.leiognathi, P.phosphoreum, V.harveyi [Medvedeva et al., 1975, 1979, Primakova et al., 1981, Gitelson et al., 1984, Rodicheva et al., 1993, ]. A closer electron microscopy examination of the colony structure revealed densely packed cells of two morphotypes [Mogilnaya et al., 1989, 1991]. It was studied the nucleoid structure and location of the luminescent system in bacterial cells and isolated nucleoid [Protopopov et al., 1989, 1990, Mogilnaya et al., 1990]. It was studied the gene nucleotide sequence and luciferase structure [Salnikov et al., 1981, Illarionov et al, 1988, 1987, 1988, 1990, Sandalova, Lindqvist, 1995]. It was investigated the effect of some chemical substances on luciferase, metabolism and structure of luminous bacteria [Medvedeva et al., 1990, 1999, Popova et al., 1991, 1994, Stom et al., 1992, Tyulkova, Sandalova, 1996, Medvedeva, 1999].


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