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Keywords:

  • cadmium;
  • genetic engineering;
  • nanocrystals;
  • phytochelatins;
  • semiconductors
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

A bacterial biofactory: Escherichia coli strains were genetically engineered to produce phytochelatins (PCs) as capping agents and used for the intracellular synthesis of fluorescent and water-soluble PC-coated CdS nanoparticles (see figure). The size of the semiconductor nanocrystals could be tuned by controlling the population of the capping PCs. SpPCS is the PC synthase from Schizosaccharomyces pombe; GSHI*=γ-glutamylcysteine synthetase.