Occurrence and Expression of Luminescence in Vibrio Cholerae

TitleOccurrence and Expression of Luminescence in Vibrio Cholerae
Publication TypeJournal Articles
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsGrim CJ, Taviani E, Alam M, Huq A, R. Sack B, Colwell RR
JournalApplied and Environmental MicrobiologyAppl. Environ. Microbiol.Applied and Environmental MicrobiologyAppl. Environ. Microbiol.
Type of Article10.1128/AEM.01537-07
ISBN Number0099-2240, 1098-5336

Several species of the genus Vibrio, including Vibrio cholerae, are bioluminescent or contain bioluminescent strains. Previous studies have reported that only 10% of V. cholerae strains are luminescent. Analysis of 224 isolates of non-O1/non-O139 V. cholerae collected from Chesapeake Bay, MD, revealed that 52% (116/224) were luminescent when an improved assay method was employed and 58% (130/224) of isolates harbored the luxA gene. In contrast, 334 non-O1/non-O139 V. cholerae strains isolated from two rural provinces in Bangladesh yielded only 21 (6.3%) luminescent and 35 (10.5%) luxA+ isolates. An additional 270 clinical and environmental isolates of V. cholerae serogroups O1 and O139 were tested, and none were luminescent or harbored luxA. These results indicate that bioluminescence may be a trait specific for non-O1/non-O139 V. cholerae strains that frequently occur in certain environments. Luminescence expression patterns of V. cholerae were also investigated, and isolates could be grouped based on expression level. Several strains with defective expression of the lux operon, including natural K variants, were identified.