bugs from the past - bioluminescent ones

Lesley Robertson l.a.robertson at tnw.tudelft.nl
Fri Nov 30 05:00:26 EST 2001

My translation or the Beijerinck and Kluyver letters has reached the
"footnotes" stage, but is made complicated by MWB's habit of only referring
to microorganisms by their species name, many of which are now obsolete. In
a letter from 1929 about light-producing bacteria, he discusses a number of
strains - their sources and the colour of light they give. I've been able to
work out what most of them were/are (V. fischeri, V. splendidus, P.
phosphoreum), but he refers several times to "luminosum" and once to "Din.
luminosum". He says that it is one of the commonest isolates but worthless
as it is only weakly luminous and the luminosity changes too rapidly. I've
searched most of the on-line collection catalogues, plus the excellent LSBN
site on http://www.bacterio.cict.fr/index.html  (which gives many name
changes), but I cannot identify what "luminosum" is. The one that comes
closest is Xenorhabdus lumnescens, but it's not a marine species and the
general topic of the letter is isolations from fish.
Any ideas, anyone?
Lesley Robertson

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