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Microb Ecol. 2001 Dec;42(4):483-494.

The Use of Whole-Cell Biosensors to Detect and Quantify Compounds or Conditions Affecting Biological Systems.

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Department of General Microbiology, University of Copenhagen, Sølvgade 83 H, DK-1307 Copenhagen K, Denmark.


A new and promising technique in microbial ecology and environmental biology is the use of whole-cell bacterial biosensors. This minireview describes the use of such biosensors for detection and quantification of various compounds and other conditions affecting bacterial expression of different genes. Three types of biosensors (nonspecific, stress-induced, and specific biosensors) are described including their use in different environments. We present tables of published biosensors, including gene fusions, host organisms, and environments in which they are used. We here describe the use of different reporter genes in the construction of biosensors and discuss their use as tools for monitoring the bioavailability of pollutants and their potential use in studying microbial ecology in general.


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