Report

Nitric Oxide and the Control of Firefly Flashing

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  29 Jun 2001:
Vol. 292, Issue 5526, pp. 2486-2488
DOI: 10.1126/science.1059833

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Abstract

Bioluminescent flashing is essential for firefly reproduction, yet the specific molecular mechanisms that control light production are not well understood. We report that light production by fireflies can be stimulated by nitric oxide (NO) gas in the presence of oxygen and that NO scavengers block bioluminescence induced by the neurotransmitter octopamine. NO synthase is robustly expressed in the firefly lantern in cells interposed between nerve endings and the light-producing photocytes. These results suggest that NO synthesis is a key determinant of flash control in fireflies.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: barry.trimmer{at}tufts.edu

View Full Text