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Understanding Bioluminescence in Dinoflagellates—How Far Have We Come?
Microorganisms 2013, 1(1), 26-32; doi:10.3390/microorganisms1010026

Circadian Rhythms in Dinoflagellates: What Is the Purpose of Synthesis and Destruction of Proteins?

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
Received: 21 June 2013 / Revised: 26 August 2013 / Accepted: 9 September 2013 / Published: 18 September 2013
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There is a prominent circadian rhythm of bioluminescence in many species of light-emitting dinoflagellates. In Lingulodinium polyedrum a daily synthesis and destruction of proteins is used to regulate activity. Experiments indicate that the amino acids from the degradation are conserved and incorporated into the resynthesized protein in the subsequent cycle. A different species, Pyrocystis lunula, also exhibits a rhythm of bioluminescence, but the luciferase is not destroyed and resynthesized each cycle. This paper posits that synthesis and destruction constitutes a cellular mechanism to conserve nitrogen in an environment where the resource is limiting.
Keywords: dinoflagellates; bioluminescence; circadian rhythms dinoflagellates; bioluminescence; circadian rhythms
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Hastings, J.W. Circadian Rhythms in Dinoflagellates: What Is the Purpose of Synthesis and Destruction of Proteins? Microorganisms 2013, 1, 26-32.

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