Vibrio fischeri

Vibrio fischeri

Bacteria, Gram-Negative


Vibrio fischeri is a Gram-negative, motile, rod-shaped bacterium that possesses the ability to produce light (bioluminescence) at high cell densities. The marine bacterium can live both as a free organism or as a symbiont for various marine fish and squids, particularly the Hawaiian bobtail squid.


Although V. fischeri is non-pathogenic to humans, it belongs to the Vibrionaceae family, which includes pathogenic congeners such as the highly virulent Vibrio cholerae.


V. fischeri has the capacity to form a biofilm, a community of microbes embedded in a matrix. Biofilm cells can exhibit properties such as increased resistance to antimicrobial agents and reduced metabolic rates, which is relevant when considering surface disinfection.


V. fischeri biofilm formation depends on a cellulose gene cluster that is similar to that found in Salmonella.


Darnell, Cynthia L et al. “The putative hybrid sensor kinase SypF coordinates biofilm formation in Vibrio fischeri by acting upstream of two response regulators, SypG and VpsR.” Journal of bacteriology 190,14 (2008): 4941-50. doi:10.1128/JB.00197-08

Yildiz, Fitnat H, and Karen L Visick. “Vibrio biofilms: so much the same yet so different.” Trends in microbiology 17,3 (2009): 109-18. doi:10.1016/j.tim.2008.12.004

Ruby, E. G., et al. “Complete Genome Sequence of Vibrio Fischeri: A Symbiotic Bacterium with Pathogenic Congeners.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 102, no. 8, 9 Feb. 2005, pp. 3004–3009,, 10.1073/pnas.0409900102.

Image taken by E Nelson and L Sycuro – Vibrio fischeri Genome Project.