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J Biotechnol. 2003 May 8;102(3):301-6.

Construction of a bacterial biosensor for styrene.

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  • 1Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular I, Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Ciudad Universitaria, 28040 Madrid, Spain.


A new bacterial biosensor for styrene has been developed and characterized. A translational fusion of the lacZ gene to the sty promoter of Pseudomonas sp. strain Y2 has been inserted into miniTn5. Transposition of the recombinant transposon to the chromosome of Pseudomonas sp. strain Y2 resulted in a whole-cell biosensor able to detect and degrade styrene. In this biosensor, the endogenous StyS/StyR system detects the presence of styrene and turns on the expression of the exogenous reporter gene from the transferred construction. Other compounds such as toluene, epoxystyrene, phenylacetaldehyde and 2-phenylethanol also induced expression of beta-galactosidase although quantitative differences in their effect are clearly detected. Non-inducing compounds affect differently the sensitivity to inducing compounds when present in a mixture.

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