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Luminescent bacteria and didactics

Luminescent bacteria (particularly the organism Photobacterium phosphoreum) are well-suited for use in schools. These are some features which make Photobacterium phosphoreum the good organism to didactical usage.:

If you are not able to get luminous bacteria from laboratory cultures you can isolate it from sea-fish or squid
Here you can find detailed description how to do it ...

Isolation of pure cultures of bacteria - Vibrio phosphoreum
materials from Indiana Biolab written by Harold Eddleman

You do not need many ingredients and time to prepare microbiological medium for cultivation of Photobacterium phosphoreum.

MICROBIOLOGICAL MEDIA FOR CULTIVATION OF LUMINESCENT BACTERIA

The room temperature (20 - 22C) is the optimal for growth of luminous bacteria. So, you do not need special equipment (e.g. incubators) to cultivate these bacteria.

Sometimes I observed weak luminescence of growing bacteria after a few hours of incubation but well visible, bright glowing colonies of Photobacterum phosphoreum you can observe after 24 - 48 h of incubation.

The bacterial bioluminescence is one from the most spectacular phenomena which can be observed in microbiological courses. This can diversify the classes and develop interest of young people.

 

After all taking care is necessary like in case of work with any other microorganisms.

 

Ability of luminescence causes that on the constant, microbiological medium the brief appreciation of purity of isolation is possible - even if processed through beginners.

Since bioluminescence is an unusual trait, it is very useful for teaching molecular biology methods such as isolation of DNA, making a gene library, cloning of gene of luciferase, transformation with plasmid carrying luciferase gene, luciferase gene amplification (PCR) etc.



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These pages were created by Piotr Madanecki
e-mail: pmad@eniac.farmacja.amg.gda.pl