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AB 31:39-47 (2022)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/ab00751

Detection of bioluminescent dinoflagellates based on luciferase genes during the ‘blue tears’ season around the Matsu archipelago

Chi-Yu Shih1, Sheng-Fang Tsai2, Hao-Jinn Wang3, Ssu-Ying Hwang2, Lee-Kuo Kang2,4,5,*

1Institute for Chemical Research, Kyoto University, Uji 611-0011, Japan
2Institute of Marine Environment and Ecology, National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung 20224, Taiwan, ROC
3Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung 20224, Taiwan, ROC
4Bachelor Degree Program in Marine Biotechnology, National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung 20224, Taiwan, ROC
5Center of Excellence for the Oceans, National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung 20224, Taiwan, ROC
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Noctiluca scintillans is considered to be a bioluminescent bloom-forming species in the coastal water around the Matsu archipelago. To identify the bioluminescent dinoflagellates and their distributions around the Matsu archipelago, metatranscriptome and luciferase (lcf) gene sequencing were conducted from June 2016 to July 2017. Metatranscriptomes retrieved lcf genes mainly from Noctiluca and other bioluminescent dinoflagellates. This result demonstrates that lcf genes were actually expressed in multiple dinoflagellate species. An analysis of the lcf composition of dinoflagellates indicated that N. scintillans was the dominant bioluminescent species during May and July. In late summer, this dominance was replaced by other bioluminescent dinoflagellate species, such as Alexandrium affine and Ceratium fusus. No lcf gene from the known toxic bioluminescent dinoflagellates was obtained during the period of investigation. Our results suggest that N. scintillans is not the only dinoflagellate species producing bioluminescence around the Matsu archipelago.


KEY WORDS: Bioluminescence · Luciferase gene · Matsu · Dinoflagellates · Metatranscriptome


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Cite this article as: Shih CY, Tsai SF, Wang HJ, Hwang SY, Kang LK (2022) Detection of bioluminescent dinoflagellates based on luciferase genes during the ‘blue tears’ season around the Matsu archipelago. Aquat Biol 31:39-47. https://doi.org/10.3354/ab00751

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