|MadSci Network: Molecular Biology|
GFP bacterial gene transformations are great ways to introduce young kids to the relationship between genes and traits. Unfortunately, most kids in my state have never seen fluorescing jellyfish. But they’ve all seen fireflies. Ward Scientific’s and Promega’s pGL2 firefly based plasmids both code only for luciferase and require lysis of the bacteria to release the luciferase and addition of luciferin to make the germs produce light. This is unfortunate, since young kids will argue that you don’t need to add chemicals to a fireflies’ butt to make it light up. In contrast, GFP protocols require simply adding genes to germs which then “just light up”. Carolina’s pVIB plasmid (aka pJE202 in Engebrecht) from V. fischeri, also an unfamiliar species, contains the lux genes that code for the luciferase enzyme and don’t require addition of a substrate, thereby presumably encoding for luceferin as well. No lysis or addition of luciferin are required. Given my desire to utilize a plasmid based on a familiar species, is it possible to have a firefly plasmid similar to pVIB that codes for both luciferase and luciferin? Is such a plasmid available? Reference: JoAnne Engebrecht, Kenneth Nealson, and Michael Silverman, “Bacterial Bioluminescence: Isolation and Genetic Analysis of Functions from Vibrio fischeri,” Cell, Vol. 32, page 773-781, March, 1983.
Re: Can one plasmid code for both firefly luciferase and luciferin?
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