is the production of light
by a living organism
, typically by means of efficient chemical reactions involving a pigment, an enzyme
, and ATP
Bioluminescence is used for luring prey (as in anglerfish), scaring off predators (as in railroad worms), attracting mates (as in fireflies), and even camouflage (photophores in benthic creatures like some deep-sea squids).
Various mechanisms can be used to produce bioluminescent light. A well-known one is the enzyme luciferase, which is frequently used in genetic engineering as a tracer.
Compare to: biofluorescence