Bioluminescence Community Project

The Bioluminescence Community Project meets every Monday night at 7:30 in BioCurious.

Our Google Group is HERE.

Its efforts are divided into three tracks - Bioluminescence in the Natural WorldBioluminescence in Art, and Metabolic Engineering of Bioluminescent Genes.

The following is from our PBworks page as of 05/30/2012:

OBJECTIVE: Hack a cell culture to produce bioluminescent light using luciferase

participants: anitha, cameron, jason, jessabella, kalpith, kim, matheo, michael, patrik d, patrick s, scott, steve


As a start, the pGLO infrastucture from the Green Fluorescence Protein (GFP) Experiments could be used, substituting the GFP gene with the luciferase gene, using the presence of arabinose to start gene expression and therefore luminescent activity. The 2010 E. glowli iGEM project from Cambridge produced a construct that would be an excellent starting point:


Further down the road we can think of other ways to activate the bioluminescent behaviour, add our own "bioLOGIC"


Our weekly meeting at BioCurious is on Mondays, 7:30-10pm

Also make sure to sign up for the mailing list if you want to stay informed:



Lux Operon Engineering


We're exploring two different approaches right now:



Things to do:

  • Permanent Temp sensor in Dino box
  • Purchase and work with Photobacterium
  • Optimize & measure Dino growth
  • Grow Vibrio Fischeri on plates and in solution
  • Work on Dino metabolic pathway
  • LUX operon engineering


Medium Term Goals: 
        Glows longer
        Glows brighter
        Novel colors
        Novel switches/promoters

Long Term Goals: 
        Random mutagenesis
        Yeast , cyanobacteria, Other Organisms 
        L-Cysteine firefly luciferin recycling pathway


Fluorescence Meter

Next Meeting will be:

Next Monday at 7.30pm  @ Biocurious

(new people are more than welcome to join in any time)




The 2010 E. glowli iGEM project from Cambridge - check out some of their great videos:

Project overview:

The Bacterial Bubble Lamp:


The "Terrific Science" website has some great lesson plans on DNA for High School/College level. Including:


AddGene has some plasmids with the Photorhabdus luminescens genes:


Another Vibrio lux plasmid is pVIB, formerly called pJE202 here: EngebrechtCell83.pdf


Carolina Biological Supply has the pVIb plasmid, and kits:


Isolation of bioluminescent bacteria (may require BSL-2 facilities, officially):


Bioluminescence Web sites


Bonnie Basslers TED Talk on "The secret social lives of bacteria"


(patrick: this talk inspired and motivated me to start this project. Taking it as a fact that bacteria and cells in general do communicate with the cellular network ouround them and are "aware" of their surroundings, the following questions and ideas arise: How can we "communicate" with cells? What will cultures do when you give them "lifestyle" choices?

So I am interested in creating heterogenous environments for cell cultures, instead of giving them just their desired medium and letting it sit in their desired temperature.


Petri dish with gradient temperature difference (controlled with open source and hardware e.g. with arduino)

Also create experiment environments where cultures can choose/ "grow towards" different:

- Nutrients

- Toxins

- Different wavelength of light

- environments with competing culture strains

- absence of liquid / nutrients,)


So to recap: find out their "Likes" and "Dislikes", survival strategies, communication....


Siouxsie Wiles Animation on Vibrio Fischeri


Common luciferase systems in organisms


Paper on "bacterial Bioluminescence"


If we want to extract the lux operon from Vibrio directly, and make our own plasmid from scratch, ATCC Strain Number 7744 might provide an inexpensive ($40) source of the lux genes.  Need to check GenBank.


Cyanobacterial iGEM projects:








Perform PCR Reactions

Rolling Updates

  • Meeting Agenda & Notes 6/3/13 1.  Dino's need careWe need to re-innoculate new cultures which includes larger flasks, more nutrients and filtering out the detritus (can be done simply by removing the ...
    Posted Jun 3, 2013, 3:48 PM by Cameron Clarke
  • Meeting Agenda & Notes 5/20/13 We need to get a little more structured for our meetings(thanks, Patrik). We have lots to accomplish so I want to try to streamline our time together. Here's ...
    Posted May 21, 2013, 1:20 AM by Cameron Clarke
  • pbworks content added Pages from the old pbworks site have been added to this google site. Let me know if anything is missing.
    Posted May 16, 2013, 4:07 PM by Gavan Wilhite
  • Collaboration site for bioluminescence group is live! bioluminescence group now also has a collaboration site!
    Posted May 14, 2013, 12:12 AM by Dmitri Barabanov
Showing posts 1 - 4 of 4. View more »