Understanding Bioluminescence in Dinoflagellates—How Far Have We Come?

TitleUnderstanding Bioluminescence in Dinoflagellates—How Far Have We Come?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsValiadi M
Secondary AuthorsIglesias-Rodriguez DM
Start Page3
Date Published05/2013
Keywordsbioluminescent, dinoflagellates

Some dinoflagellates possess the remarkable genetic, biochemical, and cellular machinery to produce bioluminescence. Bioluminescent species appear to be ubiquitous in surface waters globally and include numerous cosmopolitan and harmful taxa. Nevertheless, bioluminescence remains an enigmatic topic in biology, particularly with regard to the organisms’ lifestyle. In this paper, we review the literature on the cellular mechanisms, molecular evolution, diversity, and ecology of bioluminescence in dinoflagellates, highlighting significant discoveries of the last quarter of a century. We identify significant gaps in our knowledge and conflicting information and propose some important research questions that need to be addressed to advance this research field.