Detection of light and vibration modulates bioluminescence intensity in the glowworm, Arachnocampa flava

Mills, Rebecca, Popple, Julie‑Anne, Veidt, Martin and Merritt, David John (2016) Detection of light and vibration modulates bioluminescence intensity in the glowworm, Arachnocampa flava. Journal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology, 202 4: 313-327. doi:10.1007/s00359-016-1077-0


Author Mills, Rebecca
Popple, Julie‑Anne
Veidt, Martin
Merritt, David John
Title Detection of light and vibration modulates bioluminescence intensity in the glowworm, Arachnocampa flava
Formatted title
Detection of light and vibration modulates bioluminescence intensity in the glowworm, Arachnocampa flava
Journal name Journal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1432-1351
0340-7594
Publication date 2016-04
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s00359-016-1077-0
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 202
Issue 4
Start page 313
End page 327
Total pages 15
Place of publication Heidelberg, Germany
Publisher Springer
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Abstract Glowworms are larval fungus gnats that emit light from a specialised abdominal light organ. The light attracts small arthropod prey to their web-like silk snares. Larvae glow throughout the night and can modulate their bioluminescence in response to sensory input. To better understand light output regulation and its ecological significance, we examined the larvae’s reaction to light exposure, vibration and sound. Exposure to a 5-min light pulse in the laboratory causes larvae to exponentially decrease their light output over 5–10 min until they completely switch off. They gradually return to pre-exposure levels but do not show a rebound. Larvae are most sensitive to ultraviolet light, then blue, green and red. Vibration of the larval snares results in a several-fold increase in bioluminescence over 20–30 s, followed by an exponential return to pre-exposure levels over 15–30 min. Under some conditions, larvae can respond to vibration by initiating bioluminescence when they are not glowing; however, the response is reduced compared to when they are glowing. We propose that inhibitory and excitatory mechanisms combine to modulate bioluminescence intensity by regulating biochemical reactions or gating the access of air to the light organ.
Keyword Arousal
Dousing
Light organ
Prey capture
Web
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Mechanical & Mining Engineering Publications
HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 0 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article
Scopus Citation Count Cited 0 times in Scopus Article
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Tue, 08 Mar 2016, 00:41:46 EST by System User on behalf of Learning and Research Services (UQ Library)