Whole-cell biosensing of 3-chlorocatechol in liquids and soils

X. Guan, Elisa D'Angelo, W. Luo, S. Daunert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


A rapid and sensitive technique is needed to analyze water and soils for chlorocatechols, common environmental pollutants produced from wood pulp chlorination and other processes. The soil bacteria Pseudomonas putida, harboring plasmid pSMM50R-B′, selectively express β-galactosidase in response to 3-chlorocatechol in pure water samples. The objective of the study was to determine whether background matrices in fresh water, sea water, soils, and organic solvents interfered with 3-chlorocatechol analysis by use of a bacteria-sensing system and by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Although 3-chlorocatechol detection by HPLC was not substantially affected by the background composition of aqueous or organic solvents, HPLC was ineffective in the analysis of contaminated soils due to irreversible contaminant sorption. Whereas detection by the bacteria-sensing system was reduced in the presence of aqueous and organic solvents, interferences could be reduced by sample dilution. 3-Chlorocatechol was detected when the bacteria were added directly to contaminated soils, suggesting that the organism enhanced desorption or had access to the sorbed compounds. Results indicate that the bacteria-sensing system has wide application for detection of 3-chlorocatechols in environmental samples, especially in soils where extraction and HPLC analysis are not efficient due to extensive contaminant sorption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)841-847
Number of pages7
JournalAnalytical and bioanalytical chemistry
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Bioavailable
  • Galactosidase
  • Genetically engineered microorganism
  • High-performance liquid chromatography
  • Matrix interference
  • Pseudomonas putida

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Analytical Chemistry


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