PanellusStipticusAug12_2009Although fungal bioluminescence has been reported since ancient times, the chemical pathways involved in light emission as well as the identity of the emitter and its biological function(s) remain unsolved. Likewise firefly bioluminescence, whose elucidation harnessed the development of several analytical tools, as a bioassay for food contaminants and the use of the luc reporter gene as a probe in Molecular Biology, unveiling the bioluminescence mechanism in fungi could also generate analytical tools. A research group in Sao Paulo, Brazil is currently investigate: a) the mechanism of bioluminescence in fungi, b) the presence of pharmacological active substances in mushroom extracts, c) the development of a luminescent ecotoxicological bioassay, d) the use bioluminescent fungi in the bioremediation of contaminated soil and sediments and e) the biodegradation of industrial waste.

The more images on the website of the Laboratório de Bioluminescência de Fungos at the University of Sao Paulo is here.


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