Jérôme Delroisse, researcher at the laboratory of biology of marine organisms and biomimicry at the Faculty of Sciences of UMons, has highlighted, in an article published in the journal Open Biology of the Royal Society of London, the key molecular actor involved in the emission of natural light from some marine invertebrates such as starfish and sea urchins, the university said Wednesday in a statement. The discovery concerns the branch of echinoderms.
In the article, the researcher discusses luciferase, the enzyme of the bioluminescent reaction of this group of marine invertebrates. The bioluminescence of these animals is known and has been studied for nearly a century, but the enzymes involved in the emission of light remained unknown, underlines UMons.
The work of Jérôme Delroisse is the result of a collaboration between the Montois laboratory and the marine biology laboratory of the Catholic University of Louvain-la-Neuve. It “paves the way for new research on the bioluminescence of these unknown organisms and allows a better understanding of the evolution of bioluminescence within the tree of life”, says the university.