• bioluminescence
  • The production of light of various colors by living organisms (e.g. some bacteria and fungi, glow-worms and many marine animals). Luminescence is produced by a biochemical reaction, which is catalyzed by an enzyme. In some animals the light is used as a mating signal; in others it may be a protective device. In deep-sea forms luminous organs may serve as lanterns.
Abstract from DBPedia
    Bioluminescence is the production and emission of light by living organisms. It is a form of chemiluminescence. Bioluminescence occurs widely in marine vertebrates and invertebrates, as well as in some fungi, microorganisms including some bioluminescent bacteria, and terrestrial arthropods such as fireflies. In some animals, the light is bacteriogenic, produced by symbiotic bacteria such as those from the genus Vibrio; in others, it is autogenic, produced by the animals themselves. In a general sense, the principal chemical reaction in bioluminescence involves a light-emitting molecule and an enzyme, generally called luciferin and luciferase, respectively. Because these are generic names, luciferins and luciferases are often distinguished by the species or group, e.g. firefly luciferin. In all characterized cases, the enzyme catalyzes the oxidation of the luciferin. In some species, the luciferase requires other cofactors, such as calcium or magnesium ions, and sometimes also the energy-carrying molecule adenosine triphosphate (ATP). In evolution, luciferins vary little: one in particular, coelenterazine, is found in 11 different animal phyla, though in some of these, the animals obtain it through their diet. Conversely, luciferases vary widely between different species, which is evidence that bioluminescence has arisen over 40 times in evolutionary history. Both Aristotle and Pliny the Elder mentioned that damp wood sometimes gives off a glow. Many centuries later Robert Boyle showed that oxygen was involved in the process, in both wood and glowworms. It was not until the late nineteenth century that bioluminescence was properly investigated. The phenomenon is widely distributed among animal groups, especially in marine environments. On land it occurs in fungi, bacteria and some groups of invertebrates, including insects. The uses of bioluminescence by animals include counterillumination camouflage, mimicry of other animals, for example to lure prey, and signaling to other individuals of the same species, such as to attract mates. In the laboratory, luciferase-based systems are used in genetic engineering and biomedical research. Researchers are also investigating the possibility of using bioluminescent systems for street and decorative lighting, and a bioluminescent plant has been created.

    生物発光(せいぶつはっこう)とは、生物が光を生成し放射する現象である。化学的エネルギーを光エネルギーに変換する化学反応の結果として発生する。ケミルミネセンスのうち生物によるものを指す。英語ではバイオルミネセンス(Bioluminescence)と言い、ギリシア語のbios(生物)とラテン語のlumen(光)との合成語である。生物発光はほとんどの場合、アデノシン三リン酸(ATP)が関係する。この化学反応は、細胞内・細胞外のどちらでも起こりうる。 バクテリアにおいては、生物発光と関係する遺伝子の発現はと呼ばれるオペロンによってコントロールされる。 生物発光は、進化の過程で、何回も(およそ30回)独立に現れた。 生物発光は、海棲および陸生の無脊椎動物と魚類、また、原生生物、菌類などにも見られる。他の生物に共生する微生物が生物発光を起こすことも知られている(共生発光)。