Aliivibrio fischeri

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Note from Eric about Bio320:

I have taken this article directly from Wikipedia; the way that Wikipedia cites their sources cannot be easily reproduced on this internal wiki — hence all of the errors at the end of the article!

Instead, please use the


tag, but not the "cite book" or "cite journal" part. Any citation style is allowed; this project's aim is not to focus at all on citation formatting on a wiki. For more information, see:


If I want to cite something, I would do it like this [1]

A species description is needed, but (again) we cannot use the wikipedia "speciesBox" designation. I've included an easy-to-use template here:

Domain: Bacteria
Phylum: Proteobacteria
Class: Gammaproteobacteria
Order: Vibrionales
Family: Vibrionaceae
Genus: Aliivibrio
Species: A. fischeri

Aliivibrio fischeri (also called Vibrio fischeri) is a Gram-negative, rod-shaped bacterium found globally in marine environments.[2] A. fischeri has bioluminescent properties, and is found predominantly in symbiosis with various marine animals, such as the Hawaiian bobtail squid. It is heterotrophic, oxidase-positive, and motile by means of a single polar flagella.[3] Free-living A. fischeri cells survive on decaying organic matter. The bacterium is a key research organism for examination of microbial bioluminescence, quorum sensing, and bacterial-animal symbiosis.[4] It is named after Bernhard Fischer, a German microbiologist.[5]

rRNA comparison led to the reclassification of this species from genus Vibrio to the newly created Aliivibrio in 2007.[6] However, the name change is not generally accepted by most researchers, who still publish Vibrio fischeri (see Google Scholar for 2018-2019).


The genome for A. fischeri was completely sequenced in 2004[7] and consists of two chromosomes, one smaller and one larger. Chromosome 1 has 2.9 million base pairs (Mbp) and chromosome 2 has 1.3 Mbp, bringing the total genome to 4.2 Mbp.[7]

A. fischeri has the lowest G+C content of 27 Vibrio species, but is still most closely related to the higher-pathogenicity species such as V. cholerae.[7] The genome for A. fischeri also carries mobile genetic elements.[7]


A. fischeri are globally distributed in temperate and subtropical marine environments.[8] They can be found free-floating in oceans, as well as associated with marine animals, sediment, and decaying matter.[8] A. fischeri have been most studied as symbionts of marine animals, including squids in the genus Euprymna and Sepiola, where A. fischeri can be found in the squids' light organs.[8] This relationship has been best characterized in the Hawaiian Bobtail Squid (Euprymna scolopes), where A. fischeri is the only species of bacteria inhabiting the squid's light organ.[9]

A. fischeri cells in the ocean inoculate the light organs of juvenile squid and fish. Ciliated cells within the animals' photophores (light-producing organs) selectively draw in the symbiotic bacteria. These cells promote the growth of the symbionts and actively reject any competitors. The bacteria cause these cells to die off once the light organ is sufficiently colonised.

The light organs of certain squid contain reflective plates that intensify and direct the light produced, due to proteins known as reflectins. They regulate the light for counter-illumination camouflage, requiring the intensity to match that of the sea surface above.[10] Sepiolid squid expel 90% of the symbiotic bacteria in their light organ each morning in a process known as "venting". Venting is thought to provide the source from which newly hatched squid are colonized by A. fischeri.


The bioluminescence of A. fischeri is caused by transcription of the lux operon, which is induced through population-dependent quorum sensing.[2] The population of A. fischeri needs to reach an optimal level to activate the lux operon and stimulate light production. The circadian rhythm controls light expression, where luminescence is much brighter during the day and dimmer at night, as required for camouflage.

The bacterial luciferin-luciferase system is encoded by a set of genes labelled the lux operon. In A. fischeri, five such genes (luxCDABEG) have been identified as active in the emission of visible light, and two genes (luxR and luxI) are involved in regulating the operon. Several external and intrinsic factors appear to either induce or inhibit the transcription of this gene set and produce or suppress light emission.

A. fischeri is one of many species of bacteria that commonly form symbiotic relationships with marine organisms.[11] Marine organisms contain bacteria that use bioluminescence so they can find mates, ward off predators, attract prey, or communicate with other organisms.[12] In return, the organism the bacteria are living within provides the bacteria with a nutrient-rich environment.[13] The lux operon is a 9-kilobase fragment of the A. fischeri genome that controls bioluminescence through the catalytic activity of the enzyme luciferase.[14] This operon has a known gene sequence of luxCDAB(F)E, where luxA and luxB code for the protein subunits of the luciferase enzyme, and the luxCDE codes for a fatty acid reductase complex that makes the fatty acids necessary for the luciferase mechanism.[14] luxC codes for the enzyme acyl-reductase, luxD codes for acyl-transferase, and luxE makes the proteins needed for the enzyme acyl-protein synthetase. Luciferase produces blue/green light through the oxidation of reduced flavin mononucleotide and a long-chain aldehyde by diatomic oxygen. The reaction is summarized as:[15]

FMNH2 + O2 + R-CHO → FMN + R-COOH + H2O + light.

The reduced flavin mononucleotide (FMNH) is provided by the fre gene, also referred to as luxG. In A. fischeri, it is directly next to luxE (giving luxCDABE-fre) from 1042306 to 1048745 [2]

To generate the aldehyde needed in the reaction above, three additional enzymes are needed. The fatty acids needed for the reaction are pulled from the fatty acid biosynthesis pathway by acyl-transferase. Acyl-transferase reacts with acyl-ACP to release R-COOH, a free fatty acid. R-COOH is reduced by a two-enzyme system to an aldehyde. The reaction is:[13]


Although the lux operon encodes the enzymes necessary for the bacteria to glow, bioluminescence is regulated by autoinduction. An autoinducer is a transcriptional promoter of the enzymes necessary for bioluminescence. Before the glow can be luminized, a certain concentration of an autoinducer must be present. So, for bioluminescence to occur, high colony concentrations of A. fischeri should be present in the organism.[13]

Natural transformation

Natural bacterial transformation is an adaptation for transferring DNA from one individual cell to another. Natural transformation, including the uptake and incorporation of exogenous DNA into the recipient genome, has been demonstrated in A. fischeri.[16] This process requires induction by chitohexaose and is likely regulated by genes tfoX and tfoY. Natural transformation of A. fischeri facilitates rapid transfer of mutant genes across strains and provides a useful tool for experimental genetic manipulation in this species.

State microbe status

In 2014, [[Hawaii Senate|HawaiTemplate:Okinaian State Senator]] Glenn Wakai submitted SB3124 proposing Aliivibrio fischeri as the state microbe of [[Hawaii|HawaiTemplate:Okinai]].[17] The bill was in competition with a bill to make Flavobacterium akiainvivens the state microbe, but neither passed. In 2017, legislation similar to the original 2013 F. akiainvivens bill was submitted in the [[Hawaii House of Representatives|HawaiTemplate:Okinai House of Representatives]] by Isaac Choy[18] and in the [[Hawaii Senate|HawaiTemplate:Okinai Senate]] by Brian Taniguchi.[19]