2012 Volume 8 Pages 111-114
Bioluminescence has attracted considerable attention in the area of biophysics, primarily because the phenomenon can fundamentally be interpreted as the conversion of chemical to light energy. Although the molecular mechanisms underlying luminescence have been studied extensively in fireflies and bacteria, few studies have been undertaken in luminous fungi. This relative lack of information is likely due to the absence of a common and species-specific reaction-type in the luminous fungi examined to date. We recently succeeded in extracting, for the first time, a luminiferous substance from the fungus Mycena chlorophos. The substance was purified and characterized according to its chemical and optical properties. It is hoped that this information will facilitate the clarification of a novel molecular mechanism in fungal bioluminescence systems.