Article: article from journal or magazin.
Review (review): journal as complete as possible of one specific subject, written based on exhaustive analyses from published work.
Bacterial biosensors for measuring availability of environmental pollutants
Abstract: Traditionally, pollution risk assessment is based on the measurement of a pollutant's total concentration in a sample. The toxicity of a given pollutant in the environment, however, is tightly linked to its bioavailability, which may differ significantly from the total amount. Physico-chemical and biological parameters strongly influence pollutant fate in terms of leaching, sequestration and biodegradation. Bacterial sensorreporters, which consist of living micro-organisms genetically engineered to produce specific output in response to target chemicals, offer an interesting alternative to monitoring approaches. Bacterial sensor-reporters detect bioavailable and/or bioaccessible compound fractions in samples. Currently, a variety of environmental pollutants can be targeted by specific biosensor-reporters. Although most of such strains are still confined to the lab, several recent reports have demonstrated utility of bacterial sensing-reporting in the field, with method detection limits in the nanomolar range. This review illustrates the general design principles for bacterial sensor-reporters, presents an overview of the existing biosensor-reporter strains with emphasis on organic compound detection. A specific focus throughout is on the concepts of bioavailability and bioaccessibility, and how bacteria-based sensing-reporting systems can help to improve our basic understanding of the different processes at work.
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