Navigation Links
Scripps scientists discover fluorescence in key marine creature
Date:10/30/2007

Fluorescent proteins found in nature have been employed in a variety of scientific research purposes, from markers for tracing molecules in biomedicine to probes for testing environmental quality. Until now, such proteins have been identified mostly in jellyfish and corals, leading to the belief that the capacity for fluorescence in animals is exclusive to such primitive creatures.

Scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego have discovered fluorescent-light emitting features in an evolutionarily important marine organism and say such a capacity may be much more prevalent across the animal kingdom than previously believed.

In the cover story of the October issue of Biological Bulletin, Dimitri Deheyn and his colleagues in La Jolla, Calif. and Japan describe finding green fluorescent proteins (GFPs) in amphioxus, a fish-like animal closely studied by scientists due to its evolutionarily important position at the base of a large phylum of animals called chordates. The researchers say amphioxus GFPs are very similar to those of corals, an interesting fact since the two animal groups are separated by hundreds of millions of years of evolution.

The finding emphasizes the idea that evolutionary preservation of fluorescence must play an important ecological function, Deheyn said. Many animals havent been tested for fluorescence and its prevalence in the animal kingdom remains unknown.

Deheyn made the discovery while analyzing a dozen specimens of the small, slender marine animals collected in Tampa, Fla., by Nick Holland, a professor of marine biology at Scripps and a paper coauthor.

When I put the specimens under the blue light (used for evoking fluorescence), every single amphioxus had a bright green area in the anterior that was fluorescent, said Deheyn.

Follow-on analyses in the Tampa specimens, along with similar species samples from France and Japan, revealed details of how the fluorescence spreads along the animals body as well as how the animal fluoresces at different stages of development.

Amphioxusalso called a lanceletis found primarily in coastal areas and lives mostly burrowed in ocean sand except for its head. Previous studies have shown it to be sensitive to changes in light exposure.

Deheyn says the exact role of amphioxus fluorescence is not known. One hypothesis is that the proteins might be used as a form of sunscreen, protecting the animal by absorbing harmful ultraviolet light and shielding it away as fluorescent light. GFPs also may play a role as protective antioxidants, decreasing stress levels undergone by cells when exposed to temperature fluctuations or other environmental changes.

Fluorescence has been used extensively in biotechnology, biomedicine, bioengineering and lately in nanotechnology. GFPs have been used as markers to examine gene expression as well as probes for tracking how molecules transfer energy.

(GFP) is an easy protein to work with and to use as a label, said Deheyn, a scientist in the Marine Biology Research Division at Scripps. Its easy to locate and stimulate so it has been used widely around the world. There is a great deal of interest in finding new fluorescent compounds and proteins that can show different characteristics of light production.

Deheyns latest investigations focus on finding GFPs in animals in marine as well as terrestrial environments.


'/>"/>

Contact: Mario Aguilera
scrippsnews@ucsd.edu
858-534-3624
University of California - San Diego  
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Scripps scientists find potential for catastrophic shifts in Pacific ecosystems
2. To Stop Evolution: New Way Of Fighting Antibiotic Resistance Demonstrated By Scripps Scientists
3. Scripps research scientists identify infertility molecule
4. Scripps research scientists solve structure of a critical innate immune system protein
5. New Scripps Oceanography project to study sediments and ecosystem restoration in Venice lagoon
6. Scripps Research study reveals new activation mechanism for pain sensing channel
7. Scripps research team discovers a chemical pathway that causes mice to overeat and gain weight
8. Scripps research study reveals structural dynamics of single prion molecules
9. Scripps research study shows humans and plants share common regulatory pathway
10. Scripps research team sheds light on long-sought cold sensation gene
11. Wisconsin scientists grow critical nerve cells
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Scripps scientists discover fluorescence in key marine creature
(Date:1/19/2017)... 19, 2017 According to a new report published by ... - 2022," the global biometric sensor market is expected to garner $1.5 billion ... 2015, Asia-Pacific dominated the global market and contributed over ... Continue Reading ... ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... , Jan. 18, 2017  In vitro diagnostic ... to mergers and acquisitions (M&A), and Kalorama Information expects ... such acquisitions have been shifting. Generally, uncertainty in reimbursement ... and the U.S. has changed the acquisitions landscape. Instead ... resulted in companies buying partners outside of their home ...
(Date:1/13/2017)... 13, 2017 Sandata Technologies, LLC, a ... homecare industry, including Electronic Visit Verification™ (EVV™), announced ... Jugs, as Senior Vice President of Product Management. ... of homecare experience to Sandata, where he will ... to align Sandata,s suite of solutions with the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/16/2017)... Feb. 16, 2017  ArmaGen, Inc., a privately ... to treat severe neurological disorders, today reported preliminary ... AGT-181, the company,s investigational therapy for the treatment ... mucopolysaccharidosis type I, or MPS I). The initial ... study, presented today at the 13 th ...
(Date:2/16/2017)...   Biostage, Inc. (Nasdaq: BSTG ... bioengineered organ implants to treat cancers and other life-threatening ... the closing on February 15, 2017 of its previously ... and warrants to purchase 20,000,000 shares of common stock, ... was priced at $0.40 per share of common stock, ...
(Date:2/16/2017)...  Dermata Therapeutics, LLC, a biotechnology company developing ... of dermatological diseases, today announced it has completed ... into a $5 million credit facility with Silicon ... capital for general corporate purposes to further Dermata,s ... of serious diseases treated by dermatologists.   ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... 16, 2017  Windtree Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: ... developing aerosolized KL4 surfactant therapies for respiratory diseases, ... study showed that aerosolized KL4 surfactant reduced lung ... preclinical animal model. The Company believes that these ... evidence that supports the role of KL4 surfactant ...
Breaking Biology Technology: