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Microorganisms 2013, 1(1), 3-25; doi:10.3390/microorganisms1010003

Understanding Bioluminescence in Dinoflagellates—How Far Have We Come?

1
Department of Evolutionary Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, August-Thienemann-Strasse, Plӧn 24306, Germany
2
Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, University of California Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 May 2013 / Revised: 20 August 2013 / Accepted: 24 August 2013 / Published: 5 September 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biology of Dinoflagellates: Advances in the Last 25 Years (1987-2012))
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Abstract

Some dinoflagellates possess the remarkable genetic, biochemical, and cellular machinery to produce bioluminescence. Bioluminescent species appear to be ubiquitous in surface waters globally and include numerous cosmopolitan and harmful taxa. Nevertheless, bioluminescence remains an enigmatic topic in biology, particularly with regard to the organisms’ lifestyle. In this paper, we review the literature on the cellular mechanisms, molecular evolution, diversity, and ecology of bioluminescence in dinoflagellates, highlighting significant discoveries of the last quarter of a century. We identify significant gaps in our knowledge and conflicting information and propose some important research questions that need to be addressed to advance this research field.
Keywords: diel rhythms; functional diversity; luciferase; luciferin binding protein; gene; evolution; ecology; scintillon; predation defense diel rhythms; functional diversity; luciferase; luciferin binding protein; gene; evolution; ecology; scintillon; predation defense
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Valiadi, M.; Iglesias-Rodriguez, D. Understanding Bioluminescence in Dinoflagellates—How Far Have We Come? Microorganisms 2013, 1, 3-25.

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