Lights Out: Scientists Discover Why Iconic Bioluminescent Plankton Don’t Shine Off the West Coast

An international team of researchers including those at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego and the University of Southampton, U.K., unlocked the secrets behind a non-bioluminescent population of plankton off the U.S. West Coast. They found that two chemicals needed for bioluminescence – luciferin and luciferase – are either lacking or not functioning. The study appears in the journal Limnology and Oceanography.