Detection of luciferase activity

William Tivol tivol at
Mon Apr 10 10:29:38 EST 1995

Martin D. Leach (leach at wrote:
: In article <m0rvrBy-0000fCC at>, rhayward at MAIL.TJHSST.EDU
: (rhayward) wrote:

: >         I was wondering if anyone has ever tried detecting luciferase 
: > activity in bacteria by using a normal camera at extended exposure.  
: > Thanks for any information on procedures/exposure time, etc.
: >         -Ryan

: I have heard of it being detected on x-ray film but not on a normal camera...
: BTW..the bacteria will be moving at ambient temperature and you should get
: a blur. Many people use a CCD camera e.g. from Photometrics or Hamamatsu
: and get good images. Take a look in the latest Science..Steve Kay presents
: a nice paper on detecting luciferase activity in plants over time.

: ciao

: Martin

Dear Martin & Ryan,
	I have had no experience with bacterial luciferase; however, I have
taken pictures of fireflies.  Using ISO 400 film, the trails appear fairly
clearly--they are intermittant due to the firefly turning the luciferase on
and off as it goes.  The flies were some 10 meters away.  By calculating the
relative amounts, the collection solid angles, etc., you could determine the
requirements for photographing your bacteria.  Good luck.
				Bill Tivol

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