Firefly and its bioluminescent property
by Yuichi Oba | Chubu University, Japan
Abstract ID: 148
Event: The 3rd AsiaEvo Conference
Topic: Genetics of adaptation and evolution of novel traits
Presenter Name: Yuichi Oba

Firefly is a bioluminescent beetle. All species emit light in larval stage for aposematic display, and some also emit in adult stage for sexual communication. The bioluminescent reaction was explained by the oxidation of the substrate luciferin catalyzed by the enzyme luciferase in the presence of O2 and ATP. To understand the evolutionary process of the bioluminescent property, we performed whole genome analysis of two firefly species; a Japanese aquatic species Aquatica lateralis, and North American terrestrial species Photinus pyralis. The result revealed that firefly appeared on earth at Cretaceous period by tandem gene duplication and neo-functionalization of acyl-CoA synthetase to give ancestral luciferase. The luminescence color of the ancestral luciferase was green.