Green photosynthetic bacteria exhibit variations in the intensity of their fluorescence during illumination. The initial intensity of fluorescence, measured at the onset of illumination, has a spectrum in which the major pigment Chlorobium chlorophyll predominates. The minor pigment bacteriochlorophyll predominates in the spectrum of the time-varying part of the fluorescence. The spectrum of delayed light emission is identical to that of the time-varying fluorescence. The variations in fluorescence also resemble the delayed light in their kinetics and in their dependence on exciting light intensity. Similar results are obtained for the kinetics of prompt and delayed light emission in the algae Chlorella and Anacystis. These findings raise the possibility that the variations in fluorescence actually represent a fast component of delayed light emission, of intensity comparable to the intensity of fluorescence. In Anacystis there is an outburst of light emission that develops after the exciting light has been turned off, reaching a maximum intensity after 1 to 3 seconds. This emitted light has the spectrum of chlorophyll fluorescence. It appears to be a novel example of bioluminescence with singlet excited chlorophyll as the emitter.

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