Identification of Escherichia coli biomarkers responsive to various lignin-hydrolysate compounds

Siseon Lee, Dougu Nam, Joon Young Jung, Min Kyu Oh, Byoung In Sang, Robert J. Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Aberrations in the growth and transcriptome of Escherichia coli str. BL21(DE3) were determined when exposed to varying concentrations of ferulic acid (0.25-1. g/L), an aromatic carboxylic acid identified within lignin-cellulose hydrolysate samples. The expression of several individual genes (aaeA, aaeB, inaA and marA) was significantly induced, i.e., more than 4-fold, and thus these genes and the heat shock response gene htpG were selected as biomarkers to monitor E. coli's responses to five additional hydrolysate-related compounds, including vanillic acid, coumaric acid, 4-hydroxybenzoic acid, ferulaldehyde and furfural. While all of the biomarkers showed dose-dependent responses to most of the compounds, expression of aaeA and aaeB showed the greatest induction (5-30-fold) for all compounds tested except furfural. Lastly, the marA, inaA and htpG genes all showed higher expression levels when the culture was exposed to spruce hydrolysate samples, demonstrating the potential use of these genes as biomarkers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)450-456
Number of pages7
JournalBioresource technology
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jun

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Korea for the grants provided through the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (Nos. NRF-2009-C1AAA001-2009-0093479 ) and the research fund of Hanyang University ( HY-201100000000233-N ).


  • Biomarker
  • Ferulic acid
  • Hydrolysate
  • Lignin
  • Transcriptome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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