Creatures Of Light:
The primary objectives of this multidisciplinary investigation were to: 1) conduct a comprehensive taxonomic survey of biofluorescence and bioluminescence in marine organisms, 2) plot the distribution of biofluorescence in fishes in a phylogenetic context, 3) record emission spectra for all biofluorescent marine species and, 4) investigate the evolution and diversification of biofluorescent patterns and emission spectra in five disparate clades of marine fishes (eels, lizardfishes, scorpionfishes, blennies, and flatfishes) in which our preliminary data shows the phenomenon to be taxonomically widespread and fluorescent emission patterns diverse and interspecifically variable. This expedition led to the discovery of over 180 new species of biofluorescent fish. The scientific team also tested one of the most sensitive low-light cameras on the Triton submarine, investigated light stimulated bioluminescent kinetics, discovered and filmed the largest aggregation of flashlight fish ever observed, and determined how they use bioluminescence to school.
|Principal Investigator:||John Sparks|
|Affiliation:||American Museum of Natural History|
|Team:||David Gruber (Co-PI, CUNY), Vincent Pieribone (Co-PI, J.B. Pierce Laboratory, Yale), Christopher Filardi (AMNH), Dawn Roje (AMNH), Eunsoo Kim (AMNH), Robert Schelly (AMNH), Brennan Phillips (URI)|
|Goal:||To explore novel forms of biofluorescent and bioluminescent marine life in the Solomon Islands --one of the most biologically diverse marine ecosystems on the planet|
Gruber, D. F., Loew, E. R., Deheyn, D. D, Gaffney, J. P., Smith, W. L., Davis, M. P., Stern, J. H., Akkaynak, D., Pieribone, V. A., and J. S. Sparks. 2016. Biofluorescence in catsharks (Scyliorhinidae): Assessment of elasmobranch fluorescence with relevance to visual ecology. Nature Scientific Reports 6: 24751.
Phillips, B. T., D. F. Gruber, G. Vasan, C. N. Roman, V. A. Pieribone, and J. S. Sparks. 2016. Observations of in situ deep-sea marine bioluminescence with a high-speed, high-resolution sCMOS camera. Deep-Sea Research I 111(2016): 102–109.
Mehr, S., Verdes, A., DeSalle, R., Sparks, J. S., Pieribone, V., and D. F. Gruber. 2015. Transcriptome sequencing and annotation of the polychaete Hermodice carunculata (Annelida, Amphinomidae), BMC Genomics 16: 445.
Gruber, D. F., Gaffney, G. P., Mehr, S., DeSalle, R., Sparks, J. S., Platisa, J., and V. A. Pieribone. 2015. Adaptive evolution of eel fluorescent proteins from fatty acid binding proteins produces bright fluorescence in the marine environment. PLoS ONE 10(11): e0140972.
Sparks, J. S., Schelly, R. C., Smith, W. L., Davis, M. P., Tchernov, D., Pieribone, V. A., & Gruber, D. F. (2014). The covert world of fish biofluorescence: a phylogenetically widespread and phenotypically variable phenomenon. PLoS One, 9(1), e83259.