The effect of a series of redox indicators and systems has been tested with a suspension of luminous bacteria (B. fischeri) in M/4 phosphate buffer of PH = 7.6.

The indicators behave as expected from their position in the redox series, the most positive being reduced rapidly even in presence of air and before luminescence of the bacteria disappears, those of intermediate position at the time luminescence disappears, and the more negative only long after the luminescence had ceased, due to utilization of oxygen by the bacterial respiration. Indigo monosulphonate was the only indicator not reduced on long standing of a bacterial suspension. The aerobic redox potential may be placed at an RH = 18–20 and the anaerobic potential at an RH = 8–10.

Ferricyanides do not affect luminescence and behave as if they could not penetrate the bacterial cell. Quinone and the napthoquinones cause progressive dimming of luminescence in any concentration which affects the light but it cannot be definitely stated that this is due to rapid oxidation of luciferin although it seems likely in the case of quinone. Some indophenols dim the luminescence at first, followed by return of brightness, which is interpreted to mean rapid oxidation of luciferin while the indophenol is unreduced, more luciferin production after reduction of indophenol. The more negative redox systems do not affect the luminescence. Investigation of indicator reduction and luminescence is being continued.

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