Bioluminescence, the “cold living light” or the “cold fire of the sea,” is extremely common in all oceans at all depths. However, this phenomenon is nearly absent in freshwater, with the exception of a freshwater limpet. More than 75% of deep-sea creatures have been reported to produce their own light. The luminescent marine plankton such as dinoflagellate, radiolarians, jellyfish, comb jellies, annelids, copepods, ostracods, mysids, amphipods, euphausiids, and tunicates form an important component in the marine food chain. Research on luminescent marine plankton is gaining momentum owing to its importance in life science research and medicine. The glowing Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) extracted from the North Pacific jellyfish, Aqueorea victoria (for which the Japanese biologist, Osamu Shimonmura won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2008) has helped shed light on key processes such as the spread of cancer, the development of brain cells, the growth of bacteria, damage to cells by Alzheimer's disease, and the development of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Therefore, it is difficult to underscore the importance of bioluminescence and the organisms associated with this phenomenon.
Bioluminescent Marine Plankton
is a unique reference that attempts to provide answers to questions about bioluminescence. The first of its kind, this book attempts to answer questions on the subject with a focus on planktonic organisms. 12 chapters provide information about the chemistry of bioluminescence, types of bioluminescent displays, distribution of bioluminescence among marine plankton, ecological functions and utility of planktonic bioluminescence. Chapters are dedicated to the biology and ecology of specific groups of plankton that span about 200 luminescent marine species.
The detailed book is an essential compendium on marine plankton for a broad range of readers who want to learn about bioluminescent plankton. A list of detailed references is also provided for the benefit of teachers, students, researchers and enthusiasts interested in marine biology, aquaculture, and environmental sciences.