Luminescent "Crystalline" Particles: An Organized Subcellular Bioluminescent System

  title={Luminescent "Crystalline" Particles: An Organized Subcellular Bioluminescent System},
  author={Richard De Sa and John Woodland Hastings and Albert E. Vatter},
  pages={1269 - 1270}
A new type of intracellular biological particle which is functional in light emission has been discovered and isolated. As seen with the electron microscope it resembles a crystal; moreover, its high degree of birefringence suggests crystallinity. Isolated particles can be caused to emit a luminescent flash that resembles the flash emitted by the dinoflagellate, Gonyaulax polyedra. The particles are referred to as "scintillons". 

The Characterization of Scintillons

A new type of biological particle, isolated from the marine dinoflagellate Gonyaulax polyedra, has been partially purified and characterized, and it is believed to comprise additional but as yet unidentified components.

Colocalization of luciferin binding protein and luciferase to the scintillons ofGonyaulax polyedra revealed by double immunolabeling after fast-freeze fixation

Two proteins, Gonyaulax luciferase and the luciferin binding protein, are involved in the bioluminescent reaction of the unicellular marine alga, and their ultrastructural localizations were visualized by double immunogold labeling on sections after fast-freeze fixation, freeze-substitution and embedding in Epon or in LR White.

Solubilization of molecular elements of scintillons: Bioluminescent particles from dinoflagellates

The results suggest that the substrate-binding protein is bound to the particle chiefly by electrostatic forces, whereas the attachment of luciferase involves instead hydrophobic interactions, and that the two are present in the particles in approximately equal amounts.

Compartmentalization of algal bioluminescence: autofluorescence of bioluminescent particles in the dinoflagellate Gonyaulax as studied with image-intensified video microscopy and flow cytometry

The endogenous fluorescence of the dinoflagellate alga Gonyaulax originates in vivo from discrete subcellular loci that are intrinsically fluorescent, and luciferin is localized within the cell at discrete loci from which the bioluminescence emanates.

Subcellular Sources of Luminescence in Noctiluca

The macroflash gives a reasonably true picture of the subcellular kinetics of luminescence, as from potentiation or fatigue, result from parallel summation of graded changes in microflash intensity.

The encystment of a freshwater dinoflagellate: A light and electron-microscopical study

The main features of the process are the replacement of the theca by a thin, amorphous outer wall, which gradually thickens by the deposition of material on its inner face, and the appearance of a layer of closely-packed lipid droplets at the cytoplasmic margin of the mature cyst.

Bioluminescence: from chemical bonds to photons.

The recent isolation and characterization of an oxygen-containing (peroxide) enzyme intermediate from the bacterial system is described and a reaction mechanism is postulated, which is compared with other hypothetical mechanisms, in particular those involving a four-membered ring intermediate, a dioxetane.



Osteoclasts: Organization in Chick Embryo Bone

A multinucleated endosteum was observed in the long bones of chick embryos aged 14 to 17 days; the bulk of the diaphyseal bone is almost completely replaced during this particular 3-day interval.

The Use of Spraying Methods and of Volatile Suspending Media in the Preparation of Specimens for Electron Microscopy

Developments have been made in the use of spraying methods in the preparation of specimens for examination in the electron microscope. At the same time, two wholly volatile diluents, containing


The Annals and Transactions are collections of papers presented before the regular sectional meetings of the Academy and other matters of general interest to Members, and are published monthly from November to June, inclusive.

Kinetics of luminescence in Chaetopterus slime, and the influence of certain factors thereon.

  • F. Johnson
  • Chemistry, Medicine
    Journal of cellular and comparative physiology
  • 1959

The luminescent reaction in extracts of the marine dinoflagellate, Gonyaulax polyedra.

Additional discussion of, and references to, the older literature related to this question may be found in this volume

  • 1952

Microscop. Morphol

  • Exptl. 49,
  • 1960

Bioluminescence (Academic Press, New York, 1952)

  • 1952