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Novel Cyanobacterial Biosensor for Detection of Herbicides

By C. Y. Shao, C. J. Howe, A. J. R. Porter and L. A. Glover


The aim of this work was to generate a cyanobacterial biosensor that could be used to detect herbicides and other environmental pollutants. A representative freshwater cyanobacterium, Synechocystis sp. strain PCC6803, was chromosomally marked with the luciferase gene luc (from the firefly Photinus pyralis) to create a novel bioluminescent cyanobacterial strain. Successful expression of the luc gene during growth of Synechocystis sp. strain PCC6803 cultures was characterized by measuring optical density and bioluminescence. Bioluminescence was optimized with regard to uptake of the luciferase substrate, luciferin, and the physiology of the cyanobacterium. Bioassays demonstrated that a novel luminescent cyanobacterial biosensor has been developed which responded to a range of compounds including different herbicide types and other toxins. This biosensor is expected to provide new opportunities for the rapid screening of environmental samples or for the investigation of potential environmental damage

Topics: Physiology and Biotechnology
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology
Year: 2002
DOI identifier: 10.1128/AEM.68.10.5026-5033.2002
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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