luciferase

noun
lu·​cif·​er·​ase | \ lü-ˈsi-fə-ˌrās How to pronounce luciferase (audio) , -ˌrāz\

Definition of luciferase

: an enzyme that catalyzes the oxidation of luciferin

Examples of luciferase in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The fireflies were then ground up for its enzymes luciferin and luciferase, which give it its bioluminescent capabilities. Dan Radel, USA TODAY, "Fireflies are dying out because people are destroying their habitats," 1 Aug. 2019 Presumably the first luciferin-luciferase pair would have survived and multiplied. Quanta Magazine, "In the Deep, Clues to How Life Makes Light," 1 Dec. 2016 In 1986, scientists at the University of California, San Diego, modified and inserted the firefly luciferase gene into a tobacco plant. Quanta Magazine, "In the Deep, Clues to How Life Makes Light," 1 Dec. 2016 The type of luciferase enzyme found in the fireworm were brand new: they have never been detected in any other species. Laura Yan, Popular Mechanics, "These Tiny Fireworms Light up to Make Love," 11 Aug. 2018 Like many bioluminescent animals their light is created by a reaction between the light-emitting molecule luciferin and the enzyme luciferase. National Geographic, "Living Fireworks, These Animals Produce Light Shows with Their Bodies," 30 June 2018 The team engineered this regulator to control the third and final part of the genetic circuit, which is a set of genes that encodes a luminescence system—resulting in a bioluminescent enzyme called luciferase—from Photorhabdus luminescens. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "This capsule of glowing E. coli will probe your gut for signs of trouble," 25 May 2018 To turn leaves into a light source, Strano uses luciferase, the enzyme responsible for a firefly’s glow. Mark Ellwood, WSJ, "Your Next Desk Lamp: A Plant That Glows?," 15 May 2018 For the creation researchers used luciferase, the same enzyme that gives fireflies their glow. Emily Price, Fortune, "MIT Researchers Have Created Glowing Plants That Might One Day Replace Lights," 15 Dec. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'luciferase.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of luciferase

1888, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for luciferase

International Scientific Vocabulary, from luciferin

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about luciferase

Statistics for luciferase

Last Updated

16 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for luciferase

The first known use of luciferase was in 1888

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for luciferase

luciferase

noun
lu·​cif·​er·​ase | \ lü-ˈsif-ə-ˌrās, -ˌrāz How to pronounce luciferase (audio) \

Medical Definition of luciferase

: an enzyme that catalyzes the oxidation of luciferin

More from Merriam-Webster on luciferase

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about luciferase

Comments on luciferase

What made you want to look up luciferase? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to make a temporary encampment

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!