A bacterial reporter panel for the detection and classification of antibiotic substances
Article first published online: 2 MAR 2012
© 2012 The Authors. Microbial Biotechnology © 2012 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Volume 5, Issue 4, pages 536–548, July 2012
How to Cite
Melamed, S., Lalush, C., Elad, T., Yagur-Kroll, S., Belkin, S. and Pedahzur, R. (2012), A bacterial reporter panel for the detection and classification of antibiotic substances. Microbial Biotechnology, 5: 536–548. doi: 10.1111/j.1751-7915.2012.00333.x
- Issue published online: 7 JUN 2012
- Article first published online: 2 MAR 2012
- Received 14 October, 2011; accepted 25 January, 2012.
The ever-growing use of pharmaceutical compounds, including antibacterial substances, poses a substantial pollution load on the environment. Such compounds can compromise water quality, contaminate soils, livestock and crops, enhance resistance of microorganisms to antibiotic substances, and hamper human health. We report the construction of a novel panel of genetically engineered Escherichia coli reporter strains for the detection and classification of antibiotic substances. Each of these strains harbours a plasmid that carries a fusion of a selected gene promoter to bioluminescence (luxCDABE) reporter genes and an alternative tryptophan auxotrophy-based non-antibiotic selection system. The bioreporter panel was tested for sensitivity and responsiveness to diverse antibiotic substances by monitoring bioluminescence as a function of time and of antibiotic concentrations. All of the tested antibiotics were detected by the panel, which displayed different response patterns for each substance. These unique responses were analysed by several algorithms that enabled clustering the compounds according to their functional properties, and allowed the classification of unknown antibiotic substances with a high degree of accuracy and confidence.