Effects of Aldehyde Carbon Chain Length and Type of Luciferase on the Quantum Yields of Bacterial Bioluminescence

  • John Lee
  • Charles L. Murphy


Bacterial bioluminescence results from the oxidation of reduced flavin mononucleotide (FMNH2) and an aliphatic aldehyde (RCHO) by molecular oxygen in the presence of the enzyme bacterial luciferase. The final product of the reaction is FMN but as shown in Figure I, perturbation of its fluorescence, for instance by an environment of low polarity, cannot blue shift its fluorescence to overlap the spectral emission distribution of the bioluminescence. In addition the low polarity enhances a vibrational structure in the FMN fluorescence whereas the properly corrected bioluminescence is unstructured. Lumiflavin is used here since FMN is insoluble in solvents of low polarity.


Quantum Yield Light Reaction Aliphatic Aldehyde Bacterial Bioluminescence Bioluminescence Emission 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Lee
    • 1
  • Charles L. Murphy
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA

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