Daylight Neonothopanus home is a rather unimaginable brown fungus. But the amazing lies behind the drab facade: at night, the thunderbolt flashes in a light green color. Neonothopanus home is one of over 100 mushroom species that emit light. Aristotle has already documented this phenomenon, called the bioluminescence, when he described the flame of a glowing, rotting tree. Now scientists have for the first time identified the biochemical process that allows the burning of bioluminescent fungi. But they went even further: putting the three genes needed to generate luminescence in a non-glowing yeast form, they created an artificially luminescent eucaryat. Fyodor Kondrasov, professor at the Austrian Institute of Science and Technology (IST Austria) today published a study PNAS, led by Ilja Jampolska at the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow.
The forest fires and glowing mushrooms in the forest floor are one of the few things that can be seen in the dark night deep in the Brazilian forest. Both behave like live night lights, due to the bioluminescence process – the natural phenomenon through which the luciferase enzyme oxidizes a substance emitting light. Bioluminescence is found in many species, ranging from glowing worms to deep-water fish. However, until now, the biochemical route that makes Luciferin is not understood in any body except bacteria. This lack of knowledge hindered the attempts to make lighter organisms, such as animals and plants, shine. Now international cooperation between twelve different institutions, led by Ilya Jampolska, with Fyodor Kondrasov, Louiz Gonzalez Sommereiere and his former group member Karen Sarkisian, determined how the eukarut Neonothopanus home shines
Scientists have found the main genes responsible for bioluminescence Neonothopanus home. Using library screening and genome analysis, the team identified enzymes that promote luciferin synthesis. They showed that fucus luciferin, a substrate for bioluminescent reactions, contains only two fermentative steps from a well-known metabolite called cuff infection, which is caused by fungus. Comparing the fungus that shines with those who do not, Kondrasova's team also discovered how gene duplication allowed bioluminescence to develop more than a hundred million years ago. Why did it develop, it's not yet clear, says Kondrasov: "Is bioluminescence beneficial or just a side product? We do not yet know. There is evidence that glow attracts insects that spread spores. But I do not think it is convincing."
Scientists know how bioluminescent fungi are flashing, researchers then illuminated non-bioluminescent ejaculates. Insertion of the luciferase coding gene Neonothopanus home together with three other genes, the products of which form the chain converting the metabolite of caffeic acid into the reaction substrate luciferin in the yeast Pichia pastoris caused the glittering yeast colonies. "We do not offer chemicals that make yeast gloss. Instead, we supply enzymes that should be converted into a metabolic product that is already present," explains Kondrasov.
This discovery could take place in a wide range of applications, starting with tissues that report changes in their physiology, illuminating the creation of glowing animals and plants. "If we are thinking of sci-fi scenarios in which luminous plants replace street lighting, that is. It is an achievement that can lead to it," however, Kondrasov concludes: "However, it may take several years until such vegetable street lights are built. "
Austrian Institute of Science and Technology. .