Who: Dr Miriam Sharpe (University of Otago, NZ) and Associate Professor Peter Metcalf (University of Auckland, NZ).
Title: Bioluminescent microcrystals from the Firefly squid
Summary: Watasenia scintillans, firefly squid or 'hotaru-ika', is a deep water resident of the waters around Japan which rises to shallow waters in the Spring to spawn and die. The squid is noticeable for the intense bioluminescent light it produces from sets of three, luciferase-containing, light organs located at the tips of two tentacles. Recent research has shown the luciferase in these light organs takes the form of numerous microcrystals of between two and six microns in length. We aim to characterise these microcrystals using the facilities at I24.
This project is supported by a grant from The Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden Fund.