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Bioluminescence in beetles

    Vadim Viviani

Keywords: Molecular, insect luciferases, bioluminescence

My research focuses on the bioluminescent system of beetles, emphasizing the biochemical origin, evolution and functions of their luciferases. The main models of my investigations are the beautiful railroad-worms (Phengodidae), which produce different colors of light ranging from the green to the red region of the spectrum, fireflies (Lampyridae) and click-beetles (Elateridae).

Main discoveries and research in progress

  • Discovery of 3 new species of Brazilian railroad-worms (Phengodidae) described as Phrixothrix vivianii, Euryopa laurae and Euryopa clarindae.

  • Ocurrence of luciferase-like enzymes in larvae of non-luminescent beetles.

  • Cloning, sequencing and characterization of 4 luciferases arising from click-beetles and railroad-worms species, which elicit green
    (lambda(max) = 536 and 549 nm), yellow-green (lambda(max) = 556 nm) and red
    (lambda(max) = 622 nm) bioluminescence.

  • Study of the relationship between luciferases structures/function (bioluminescence spectra).

  • Biological functions of bioluminescence in beetles which produce different colors of light and the relationship with their habitats photic environment.

Submitted: 30-Sep-98; updated 30-Mar-2010

The contents of this page are the sole responsibility of the person named below.

Vadim Viviani |
Depto. de Biol.,Inst.de Biociencias
Univ. Estadual Paulista
Av.24A, 1515, Rio Claro, SP, Brazil | Laboratory Web Page
Biodiversity Web Page
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