The LUX Operon
This animation explores the LUX operon, a set of five genes that are involved in bacterial bioluminescence.
Aliivibrio fischeri (formerly Vibrio fischeri) is a type of bioluminescent bacteria. When these bacteria reach a specific population density, they begin to produce the transcription factor LuxR. As shown in the animation, LuxR turns on the expression of the LUX operon, ultimately producing the bioluminescent protein luciferase.
This animation is a clip from a 2009 Holiday Lecture Series, Exploring Biodiversity: The Search for New Medicines. Depending on students’ background, it may be helpful to pause the animation at various points to discuss different parts of the LUX operon.