An alkyne-terminated anthracene and azide-terminated carbazole were joined through a copper-catalyzed cycloaddition to form a joined donor/acceptor pair. The photonic pair exhibited energy transfer when excited at the peak absorbance of carbazole and fluoresced with an anthracene spectral response. The fluorescent behavior was confirmed as Förster energy transfer (FRET). The lysate of Pseudomonas resinovorans CA10, a member of a predominant group of soil microorganisms that can metabolize a host of substrates, was employed to degrade the pair and alter the luminance spectral characteristics. The FRET was diminished and the corresponding, individual fluorescence of carbazole and anthracene returned. This general approach may find applications in single-cell metabolic studies and bioactivity assays.
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