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Chaetopterus variopedatus bioluminescence: luciferase purification and ecological roles

Grant number: 14/18541-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2015
Effective date (End): August 31, 2019
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biophysics - Radiology and Photobiology
Principal researcher:Anderson Garbuglio de Oliveira
Grantee:Jeremy Darius Mirza
Home Institution: Instituto de Ciências Ambientais, Químicas e Farmacêuticas (ICAQF). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus Diadema. Diadema , SP, Brazil


Bioluminescence is a chemical process involving the emission of cold visible light and is found in a wide range of marine organisms. Bioluminescent reactions are based on the oxidation of a small organic molecule (luciferin) in the presence of an enzyme (luciferase). All involve a luciferase bound peroxy-luciferin intermediate, the breakdown of which provides energy for excitation and thus light emission. As the phenomenon has evolved independently within multiple phyla, there is a large variation in the types of luciferase and luciferin that occur within organisms. Many of the luminescent systems that occur have been studied in recent decades, allowing for greater understanding of the separate chemical components, as well as their utilisation in biotechnology. However there are some bioluminescent systems that are poorly studied, such as that of Chaetopterus variopedatus. This is a marine annelid found within burrows in sediment, and has a cosmopolitan distribution. It produces bioluminescence, both in its body segments, and within a slime that it exudes from its orifices. Past studies during late 1960 identified some particular compounds associated with bioluminescence in this species, however very few studies have been carried out at this since. Additionally, no studies have assessed the potential ecological roles of bioluminescence in this organism. This project aims to isolate, characterize and clone the luciferase enzyme within C. variopedatus, as well as studying the mechanism for bioluminescence in this species. Finally, we also aim to ascertain possible ecological roles for the light emission in marine worm. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
TESSLER, MICHAEL; GAFFNEY, JEAN P.; OLIVEIRA, ANDERSON G.; GUARNACCIA, ANDREW; DOBI, KRISTA C.; GUJARATI, NEHABEN A.; GALBRAITH, MOIRA; MIRZA, JEREMY D.; SPARKS, JOHN S.; PIERIBONE, VINCENT A.; WOOD, ROBERT J.; GRUBER, DAVID F. A putative chordate luciferase from a cosmopolitan tunicate indicates convergent bioluminescence evolution across phyla. SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, v. 10, n. 1 OCT 20 2020. Web of Science Citations: 1.
MIRZA, JEREMY D.; MIGOTTO, ALVARO E.; YAMPOLSKY, ILIA V.; DE MORAES, GABRIELA V.; TSARKOVA, ALEKSANDRA S.; OLIVEIRA, ANDERSON G. Chaetopterus variopedatusBioluminescence: A Review of Light Emission within a Species Complex. Photochemistry and Photobiology, v. 96, n. 4, p. 768-778, JUL 2020. Web of Science Citations: 0.
GALEAZZO, GABRIELA A.; MIRZA, JEREMY D.; DORR, FELIPE A.; PINTO, ERNANI; STEVANI, V, CASSIUS; LOHRMANN, KARIN B.; OLIVEIRA, ANDERSON G. Characterizing the Bioluminescence of the Humboldt Squid, Dosidicus gigas (d'Orbigny, 1835): One of the Largest Luminescent Animals in the World. Photochemistry and Photobiology, v. 95, n. 5, p. 1179-1185, SEP 2019. Web of Science Citations: 0.

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