The luminescence of the marine dinoflagellate Gonyaulax polyedra shows an endogenous diurnal rhythm. The effect of light during the phase of low luminescence capacity may be observed as an enhancement of luminescence during the subsequent bright phase. During the bright phase, however, illumination diminishes the capacity for luminescence. The action spectra for these two effects of light have been determined, and the major pigments of Gonyaulax have been examined. A consideration of the action spectrum and the pigment complement of Gonyaulax suggests that photosynthesis during the day is responsible, directly or indirectly, for the enhancement of luminescence during the following night. Photoinhibition of luminescence is in part attributable to light absorbed by the photosynthetic pigments. However, activity observed in the far red region of the spectrum beyond the absorption maximum of chlorophyll a suggests that an additional pigment, present in small amounts, may also act as sensitizer for photoinhibition.

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