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Hello. I am doing a research project on bioluminescent organisms and have a question. I was wondering if there is a connection between luciferase in bioluminescent organisms and chlorophyll in plants. If so please tell their relationship. Thank You.
Question Date: 2015-04-12
Answer 1:

That is an interesting question. The production of light by a living organism is known as bioluminescence. Luciferase is an enzyme (a special type of protein) that is produced by some organisms. When luciferase enzymatically interacts with oxygen and luciferin (a complex molecule similar to chlorophyll), it creates a chemical byproduct (oxyluciferin) plus light.

There are many forms of luciferin and liuciferase found in nature. Certain dinoflagellates (unicellular marine organisms) that potosynthesize use a luciferin that is chemically similar to that of chlorophyll.

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