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Photobacterium phosphoreum

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Photobacterium phosphoreum
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Bacteria
Phylum: Pseudomonadota
Class: Gammaproteobacteria
Order: Vibrionales
Family: Vibrionaceae
Genus: Photobacterium
P. phosphoreum
Binomial name
Photobacterium phosphoreum
(Cohn 1878) Beijerinck 1889 (Approved Lists 1980)
  • Vibrio phosphoreum

Photobacterium phosphoreum is a Gram-negative, bioluminescent bacterium living in symbiosis with deep-sea marine organisms, such as anglerfish.[1] It can emit bluish-green light (490 nm) due to a chemical reaction between FMN, luciferin and molecular oxygen catalysed by an enzyme called luciferase.


P. phosphoreum appears to be distributed worldwide in oceans and is found in a variety of different marine habitats.[1] It was first isolated in 1878 from seawater, but has also been reported from the surfaces of fish and other marine animals, the intestines of fish, coastal seawater, and from a state of bioluminescent symbiosis with fish. P. phosphoreum colonizes a wide variety of deep-sea fishes which generally occur in the mesopelagic and bentho-pelagic zones.[1]

As a bioindicator[edit]

P. phosphoreum is the most frequently used luminescent bacterium in water quality assessment.[2]


  1. ^ a b c Ast, Jennifer C.; Dunlap, Paul V. (1 July 2005). "Phylogenetic resolution and habitat specificity of members of the Photobacterium phosphoreum species group". Environmental Microbiology. 7 (10): 1641–1654. doi:10.1111/j.1462-2920.2005.00859.x. ISSN 1462-2912.
  2. ^ Wang, Xinghao; Qu, Ruijuan; Wei, Zhongbo; Yang, Xi; Wang, Zunyao (June 2014). "Effect of water quality on mercury toxicity to Photobacterium phosphoreum: Model development and its application in natural waters". Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety. 104: 231–238. doi:10.1016/j.ecoenv.2014.03.029.

External links[edit]