Detection of Rhythmic Bioluminescence From Luciferase Reporters in Cyanobacteria

  • Shannon R. Mackey
  • Jayna L. Ditty
  • Eugenia M. Clerico
  • Susan S. Golden
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology™ book series (MIMB, volume 362)


The unicellular cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942 is the model organism for studying prokaryotic circadian rhythms. Although S. elongatus does not display an easily measurable overt circadian behavior, its gene expression is under circadian control; hence, a “behavior” is created by linking a cyanobacterial promoter to either the bacterial luxAB or firefly luc luciferase genes to create reporter fusions whose activity can be easily monitored by bioluminescence. Numerous vectors have been created in our lab for introducing luciferase reporter genes into the S. elongatus chromosome. A choice of methods and equipment to detect light production from the luciferase fusions provides a means for high-throughput, automated mutant screens as well as testing rhythms from two promoter fusions within the same cell culture.

Key Words

Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942 cyanobacteria luciferase bioluminescence circadian rhythm neutral site 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shannon R. Mackey
    • 1
  • Jayna L. Ditty
    • 2
  • Eugenia M. Clerico
    • 1
  • Susan S. Golden
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyTexas A&M UniversityCollege Station
  2. 2.Department of BiologyUniversity of St.ThomasSt.Paul

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