Caister Academic Press

The Microbe as a Reporter: Microbial Bioreporter Sensing Technologies for Chemical and Biological Detection

Steven Ripp, Alice C. Layton and Gary S. Sayler
from: Environmental Microbiology: Current Technology and Water Applications (Edited by: Keya Sen and Nicholas J. Ashbolt). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2011)


Bioreporters function as living whole cell sensors of environmental contaminants. These sensors have been widely applied in water quality control and assessment to establish water toxicity profiles and for the specific identification of pollutant chemicals. Innovative bacteriophage (bacterial virus) bioreporters have also recently become available for the specific identification of contaminating organisms of human health concern (i.e., bacterial pathogens). All of these bioreporter systems take advantage of measured cellular signal outputs such as colorimetric, bioluminescent, or fluorescent emissions to signify target chemical or biological presence. When associated with a device capable of measuring these emissions, the resulting bioreporter assay or hybrid biosensor becomes an easy to use, rapid, and versatile water quality monitoring tool that can be integrated into continuous, on-line, near real-time sensing regimens that rival conventional analytical methods read more ...
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