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Study on Harmothoe sp,. bioluminescence, Kinberg, 1856 and its ecological functions

Grant number: 19/25086-1
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2020
Effective date (End): March 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biophysics - Radiology and Photobiology
Principal researcher:Anderson Garbuglio de Oliveira
Grantee:Gabriela Verruck de Moraes
Home Institution: Instituto Oceanográfico (IO). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Bioluminescence can be defined as the process of emission of cold and visible light by living organisms, which is present in a wide variety of marine animals. Several of these luminescent systems have been investigated in recent decades, producing broad, basic and applied knowledge. However, many bioluminescent systems have not been researched sufficiently and are even unknown, such as the marine annelid Harmothoe sp. This annelid, which can be found in a variety of habitats along the Brazilian coast, has the capacity to produce intense green light when threatened by predators. However, despite a photoprotein having been partially purified from luminous tissues of this marine organism, little is known about their physical-chemical properties or even the chemical nature of this reaction. In addition, the substrate and the possible co-factors involved in the bioluminescence of Harmothoe sp. are unknown until now. Thus, this project aims to isolate and characterize the photoprotein of Harmothoe sp. and to study the process of emission of light in this annelid. The study also proposes to provide the bases for the analysis of possible ecological functions of the production of light in this annelid as a probable mechanism of defense against predators. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
MORAES, V, GABRIELA; HANNON, MARY COLLEEN; SOARES, DOUGLAS M. M.; STEVANI, V, CASSIUS; SCHULZE, ANJA; OLIVEIRA, ANDERSON G. Bioluminescence in Polynoid Scale Worms (Annelida: Polynoidae). FRONTIERS IN MARINE SCIENCE, v. 8, FEB 18 2021. Web of Science Citations: 1.

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