Simultaneous detection of analytes based on genetically engineered whole cell sensing systems

Suresh Shrestha, Ranjit S. Shetty, Sridhar Ramanathan, Sylvia Daunert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Sensing systems for the simultaneous detection of analytes utilizing whole cells provide efficient ways to develop analytical assay systems with reduced cost. In this work, a whole cell-based sensing system was developed for the simultaneous detection of two model analytes, β-lactose and L-arabinose, using genetically-designed bacteria. Two variants of the green fluorescent protein (GFP), BFP2 and GFPuv, were used as the reporter protein for the detection of each analyte. The corresponding reporter genes were introduced into the bacteria in such a way that they can be co-expressed along with the other genes induced by the respective sugar. Each of these fluorescent proteins is expressed only in the presence of their respective analyte and their fluorescence emission can be monitored using the intact whole cell samples. By exciting the cells at 380 nm, emission for BFP2 and GFPuv can be collected at 440 and 509 nm, respectively. The fluorescence emission thus obtained can be correlated with the amount of sugars present in the sample. Calibration curves for β-lactose and L-arabinose were generated. It was observed that this system shows no significant response to other closely related sugars thus providing high selectivity for β-lactose and L-arabinose detection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-260
Number of pages10
JournalAnalytica Chimica Acta
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 18 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Detection of analytes
  • Genetically-designed bacteria
  • Model analytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy
  • Environmental Chemistry


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