A study of the ecology of bioluminescent bacteria in a marine environment

dc.contributor.advisorSizemore, Ronald K.
dc.contributor.committeeMemberJurtshuk, Peter, Jr.
dc.contributor.committeeMemberLawrence, Addison Lee
dc.contributor.committeeMemberTu, Shiao-Chun
dc.creatorO'Brien, Catherine Harvey
dc.description.abstractBioluminescent bacteria were readily isolated from several niches in an estuarine environment of the East Lagoon in Galveston, Texas. These sites included the water column, sediment, shrimp and gastrointestinal tract of marine fishes. In this semi-tropical estuary, the numbers of luminous bacteria in the water column were observed to fluctuate with the water temperatures, with highest counts detected during the warmest months. During the cold weather, a larger percentage of luminous bacteria were found in the sediment. This niche may serve as a resevoir for "free-living" luminous bacteria in cold months. Unlike other studies, Beneckea harveyi was found to be the dominant, if not the only, species of bioluminescent bacteria isolated. The highest numbers and highest percentage of luminous organisms in the total bacterial population were isolated from the gastrointestinal tract of marine fishes. Bioluminescent bacteria were found to survive well in the fish intestines for up to five days of starvation. It was proposed that the gut may well be the preferred natural habitat of luminescent bacteria.
dc.description.departmentBiology and Biochemistry, Department of
dc.format.digitalOriginreformatted digital
dc.rightsThis item is protected by copyright but is made available here under a claim of fair use (17 U.S.C. Section 107) for non-profit research and educational purposes. Users of this work assume the responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing, or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires express permission of the copyright holder.
dc.titleA study of the ecology of bioluminescent bacteria in a marine environment
thesis.degree.collegeCollege of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
thesis.degree.departmentBiology, Department of
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Houston
thesis.degree.nameMaster of Science


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