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Table 1 Glossary

From: Sea as a color palette: the ecology and evolution of fluorescence

TermDefinition
AequorinCalcium-activated photoprotein complex responsible for luminescence in the jellyfish Aequorea victoria
CarotenoidsYellow, orange, and red organic pigments produced by plants, algae, bacteria and fungi
ChlorophyllGreen organic pigment present in plants and in cyanobacteria, which is responsible for light absorption during photosynthesis and dissipates its energy by emission as fluorescence radiation
ChromatophorePigment-containing cell in the superficial skin tissue layer of an animal
ExitanceTotality of light leaving the surface expressed in energy or photon flux units
FluorescenceEmission of light at a longer wavelength, in other words it is the absorption of shorter-wavelength light (excitation) followed by the release of a part of the absorbed energy at a longer wavelength (emission)
Fluorophore/ ChromophorePart of a molecule or chemical group composed of an atom or a group of atoms responsible for the color emitted by a fluorescent protein
Green fluorescent protein (GFP)Protein able to emit green fluorescence in the presence of short-wavelength light discovered in Aequorea victoria
Light absorptionPhenomenon occurring when a ray of light strikes a surface. The energy from the light (photons) is transferred to the surface material
Light scatteringPhenomenon occurring when a ray of light strikes a surface and changes its direction
LuminescenceLight generated by an enzymatic reaction (luciferase) within a living organism
PhosphorescenceType of photoluminescence related to fluorescence displaying gradual light emission over a long period of time
PhotophoreGland or organ specialized in the production of luminescent light
Photoactivatable fluorescent proteins (PAFPs)Class of FP capable of acute changes in their spectral properties upon irradiation with light of a specific wavelength and intensity
PigmentColored chemical substance found in animals or plants capable of changing color after reflection and absorption of certain wavelengths of visible light
Quenching ReflectanceProcess of stopping a chemical or enzymatic reaction
Fraction of photons reflected at each wavelength
SandercyaninLipocalin family protein, isolated from a freshwater fish, able to bind to biliverdin IXα displaying blue color naturally, or red fluorescence under UV radiation
UnaGFatty acid binding protein (FABP), isolated from marine eels, able to bind endogenous bilirubin triggering green fluorescence
  1. Technical terms defined to clarify concepts in the field of natural fluorescence