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

Selection of biocatalysts for chemical synthesis.

To determine whether microbial chemosensors can be used to find new or better biocatalysts, we constructed Escherichia coli hosts that recognize the product of a biocatalytic conversion through the transcriptional activator NahR and respond by expression of a lacZ or tetA reporter gene. Equipped with a benzaldehyde dehydrogenase (XylC from Pseudomonas putida), the lacZ-based host responded to the oxidation of benzaldehyde and 2-hydroxybenzaldehyde to the corresponding benzoic acids by forming blue colonies, whereas XylC- cells did not. Similarly, the tetA-based host was able to grow under selective conditions only when equipped with XylC, enabling selection of biocatalytically active cells in inactive populations at frequencies as low as 10(-6).[1]


  1. Selection of biocatalysts for chemical synthesis. van Sint Fiet, S., van Beilen, J.B., Witholt, B. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2006) [Pubmed]
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