Environmental biosensors using bioluminescent bacteria

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

5 Citations (Scopus)


Environmental biosensors to assess the toxicity of environmental media such as water, soil, and atmosphere have been developed using various recombinant bioluminescent bacteria. Those bacteria were constructed based on specific stress-responsive promoters in bacterial cells. They are thus activated by different groups of toxicity. For continuous monitoring of water toxicity, a multichannel system having different stress-responsive strains in each channel, and composed of two-stage mini-bioreactors, was successfully developed. Soil toxicity was assessed using a soil biosensor based upon immobilization of recombinant bioluminescent bacteria that worked with the addition of rhamnolipids biosurfactant. An example of phenanthrene toxicity is shown. For the assessment of gas toxicity, an immobilization technique has been set up to allow the biosensor to come in direct contact with the toxic gas in the sensing chamber. An example of benzene toxicity is shown. This mini review will show how the recombinant bioluminescent bacteria can be utilized as environmental biosensors. With further findings and developments of new non-specific stress promoters, the potency and extensiveness of the information that can be obtained using these environmental biosensors is immense.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEnvironmental Chemistry
Subtitle of host publicationGreen Chemistry and Pollutants in Ecosystems
PublisherSpringer Berlin Heidelberg
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)3540228608, 9783540228608
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • air
  • biosensor
  • luminescent bacteria
  • pahs
  • soil
  • water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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