bugs from the past - bioluminescent ones

Paul Taylor p.taylor7 at pgrad.unimelb.edu.au
Fri Nov 30 23:44:42 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
> http://www.beijerinck.bt.tudelft.nl
Hi Lesley, 

Firstly thank you for your efforst in translating the letters of the great
microbiologists!! They will no doubt become an interesting and valuable
resource for those of us interested in the history of our discipline.

Is it at all possible the the "Din" part of the "code" is short for
dinoflagellate?  My knowledge of  bioluminescence is rudimentary at nest,
but I know that some dinoflagellates are able to emit light. Their is a
website that has a really good photo gallery of many different
biolouminescent organisms from many different phyla..maybe something there
will give you clue?

Good Luck!!


Paul Taylor
Microbial Ecology and Bioremediation Laboratory
Department of Microbiology and Immunology
The University of Melbourne
Victoria 3010

p    +61 3 8344 5705
f    +61 3 9347 1540
e    p.taylor7 at pgrad.unimelb.edu.au


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