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Brazilian Journal of Microbiology

Print version ISSN 1517-8382On-line version ISSN 1678-4405

Abstract

NUNES-HALLDORSON, Vânia da Silva  and  DURAN, Norma Letícia. Bioluminescent bacteria: lux genes as environmental biosensors. Braz. J. Microbiol. [online]. 2003, vol.34, n.2, pp.91-96. ISSN 1517-8382.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1517-83822003000200001.

Bioluminescent bacteria are widespread in natural environments. Over the years, many researchers have been studying the physiology, biochemistry and genetic control of bacterial bioluminescence. These discoveries have revolutionized the area of Environmental Microbiology through the use of luminescent genes as biosensors for environmental studies. This paper will review the chronology of scientific discoveries on bacterial bioluminescence and the current applications of bioluminescence in environmental studies, with special emphasis on the Microtox toxicity bioassay. Also, the general ecological significance of bioluminescence will be addressed.

Keywords : bacteria; bioluminescence; lux genes; Microtox toxicity bioassay.

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