Beijerinck and the bioluminescent bacteria: Microbiological experiments in the late 19th and early 20th centuries

LA Robertson, MJ Figge, PV Dunlap

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Microbiological research in the days before specialized equipment, or even
electricity, required a great deal of ingenuity. The revival of 90-year-old bioluminescent
bacteria from Beijerinck’s laboratory in Delft prompted a review of his
work with these microorganisms and revealed their use in simple techniques for
the investigation of, among other things, sugar metabolism in yeasts, oxygen
generation and uptake and even the survival of microorganisms in liquid
hydrogen. He used variant strains of bioluminescent bacteria in an attempt to
study heredity and variation in biological systems and described one of the earliest
examples of enzyme induction
Original languageDutch
Pages (from-to)185-194
JournalFEMS Microbiology Ecology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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