A panel of Escherichia coli strains harbouring different stress-responsive promoters fused to a lux reporter system was used to assess the potential toxicity of 17 unknown model water samples. Using liquid cultures, nine out of 14 toxic samples were properly identified as toxic, whereas five were false negatives. All three non-toxic controls were identified correctly (no false positives). Two strains containing promoter-lux fusions were also tested when immobilized onto fibre-optic tips. One genotoxic sample and six toxic samples were correctly identified in this manner. The potential advantages and limitations in the use of genetically engineered bacteria as biosensors for water toxicity are discussed in view of these results.
- Fiber-optic biosensors
- Genetically engineered microorganisms
- Stress-responsive gene promoters
- Water security
- Water toxicity
ASJC Scopus subject areas