Monday, January 18, 2010

Bioluminescence, Bacteria, and the "Milky Sea" Phenomenon


After reading about the bacteria from the genus Vibrio in Chapter 26, I was curious to find out more about the glowing blob specified in Figure 26.8. This blob, as our book depicts, are

"...legions of Vibrio harveyi (which) form a glowing patch some thousands of square kilometers in...the Indian Ocean".

Upon some more research thanks to Wikipedia I learned that this massive glowing patch which can also be seen from space, is known as the "Milky Sea". And the bacteria that make it, Vibrio harveyi, have many characteristics that we learned about in chapter 26:they are Gram-negative (refer to page 566 in our textbooks) and also rod shaped (page 563 figure 26.2), motile (page 566), facultatively anaerobic (page 568), halophilic (page 577), and competent for both fermentative and respiratory metabolism (page 568 again, under anaerobic versus aerobic metabolisms again).

Also, through my searching, I found a neat link you guys might like about the Milky Sea phenomenon that funnily enough is part of the bioluminescence webpage by UCSB's life sciences program. Check it out!

http://www.lifesci.ucsb.edu/~biolum/organism/milkysea.html

-Ren

1 comment:

John Latto said...

Cool, thanks for the link.
As you say, lots of connections to class and the chapter in the text and a pretty interesting read. That's a pretty big patch they captured on film.