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November 30, 2010

Bioluminescent Marine Bacterium

Colonies of the bioluminescent marine bacterium Vibrio fischeri. This photograph of the colonies growing on agar (left) was taken with a light source. The photograph of the colonies on the right was taken using their own bioluminescence as a light source.

National Science Foundation-supported researchers are studying the relationship between the Hawaiian sepiolid squid, Euprymna scolopes, and its luminous bacterial partner Vibrio fischeri. Although all animals have beneficial associations with microbes, the association between E. scolopes and V. fischeri is the only experimental model available to biologists so far. (Year of image: 1975) [One of four related images. See Next Image.]

Credit: Courtesy J. W. Hastings, Harvard University, through E. G. Ruby, University of Hawaii

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