, Volume 53, Issue 1, pp 69-77

Luminescence from non-bioluminescent tissues in oceanic cephalopods

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Abstract

Several tissues (e.g. kidney, blood, digestive gland) in oceanic cephalopods which do not exhibit in vivo bioluminescence, luminesce when homogenized in the presence of air or when simply exposed to air in a vial (blood). The source of the luminescence appears to be a luciferin: treatment of kidney homogenates and blood with a photophore extract presumably containing luciferase resulted in a 20-fold increase in light production. Luminescence was also found in the renal fluid, which may be the source of luminescent clouds produced by squids. The variability in luminescence found in some tissues of cephalopods appeared to be related to feeding. Luminescence was also detected in the digestive glands of midwater octopods.