Engineering Deinococcus radiodurans into biosensor to monitor radioactivity and genotoxicity in environment

Guan Jun Gao, Lu Fan, Hui Ming Lu, Yue Jin Hua

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Based on a genetically modified radioresistant bacteria Deinococcus radiodurans, we constructed a real time whole cell biosensor to monitor radioactivity and genotoxicity in highly radioactive environment. The enhanced green fluorescence protein (eGFP) was fused to the promoter of the crucial DNA damage-inducible recA gene from D. radiodurans, and the consequent DNA fragment (PrecA-egfp) carried by plasmid was introduced into D. radiodurans R1 strain to obtain the biosensor strain DRG300. This engineered strain can express eGFP protein and generate fluorescence in induction of the recA gene promoter. Based on the correlation between fluorescence intensity and protein expression level in live D. radiodurans cells, we discovered that the fluorescence induction of strain DRG300 responds in a remarkable dose-dependent manner when treated with DNA damage sources such as gamma radiation and mitomycin C. It is encouraging to find the widely detective range and high sensitivity of this reconstructed strain comparing with other whole cell biosensors in former reports. These results suggest that the strain DRG300 is a potential whole cell biosensor to construct a detective system to monitor the biological hazards of radioactive and toxic pollutants in environment in real time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1675-1681
Number of pages7
JournalChinese Science Bulletin
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 2008


  • Biosensor
  • DNA damage
  • Deinococcus radiodurans
  • Genotoxicity
  • Ionizing radiation
  • Mitomycin C
  • RecA
  • eGFP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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