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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Monitoring aromatic hydrocarbons by whole cell electrochemical biosensors.

In this article, we describe a bacterial whole cell electrochemical biosensors system that can be used for monitoring aromatic hydrocarbons. These bacterial biosensors are based on fusions of a promoter that is sensitive to aromatic compounds (the promoter region of the xylS gene and the xylR gene coding for the transcriptional regulator of the xyl operon) to reporter genes that can be monitored electrochemically at real-time and on-line. The xylS promoter was fused upstream of two promoterless genes coding the lacZ gene and phoA. These constructs reacted specifically to aromatic compounds but not to nonaromatic compounds, and we could detect, within minutes, micromolar concentrations of different aromatic hydrocarbons such as xylene and toluene. The use of two different reporter genes allows the future construction of a multianalyte detection system for simultaneous monitoring of several pollutants. These whole cell biosensors are potentially useful for on-line and in situ detection of aromatic compounds and as early warning systems of environmental hazards.[1]


  1. Monitoring aromatic hydrocarbons by whole cell electrochemical biosensors. Paitan, Y., Biran, I., Shechter, N., Biran, D., Rishpon, J., Ron, E.Z. Anal. Biochem. (2004) [Pubmed]
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