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Light emitting system in a deep sea shark: Etmopterus spinax (Squaloidea: Etmopteridae)
Renwart, M.; Mallefet, J. (2012). Light emitting system in a deep sea shark: Etmopterus spinax (Squaloidea: Etmopteridae). Luminescence 27(2): 154-154
In: Luminescence. Wiley: Chichester, Sussex, UK. ISSN 1522-7235; e-ISSN 1522-7243, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    The biochemistry of light emitting systems has been largely studied in invertebrates. Among vertebrates, only fishes are endowed with this capability and the mechanism of light emission has merely been investigated in bony fishes. Although less known, because rather rare and difficult to observe, cartilaginous fishes also contain bioluminescent members. Two families are in concern, Dalatiidae and Etmopteridae1, information about the biochemistry of their luminous system are lacking. In this work, we aim to describe for the very first time the chemiluminescent reaction involved in a shark species: Etmopterus spinax (Etmopteridae). E. spinax is a deep-sea species displaying a continuous blue luminescence on its ventral and lateral faces2. Classical cross-reactions with known luminous substrates, such as known imidazolopyrazines, do not produce light per se, suggesting a new luminous system in this species. Studies are now in progress to detect and purify the substrate of the reaction by biochemical methods.

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