Detection of oxytetracycline production by Streptomyces rimosus in soil microcosms by combining whole-cell biosensors and flow cytometry

Lars Hestbjerg Hansen, Belinda Ferrari, Anders Morten Hay Sørensen, Duncan Veal, Søren Johannes Sørensen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Combining the high specificity of bacterial biosensors and the resolution power of fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) provided qualitative detection of oxytetracycline production by Streptomyces rimosus in soil microcosms. A plasmid containing a transcriptional fusion between the tetR-regulated P-tet promoter from Tn10 and a FAGS-optimized gfp gene was constructed. When harbored by Escherichia coli, this plasmid produces large amounts of green fluorescent protein (GFP) in the presence of tetracycline. This tetracycline biosensor was used to detect the production of oxytetracycline by S. rimosus introduced into sterile soil. The tetracycline-induced GFP producing biosensors were detected by FAGS analysis, enabling the detection of oxytetracycline encounters by single biosensor cells. This approach can be used to study interactions between antibiotic producers and their target organisms in soil.
Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)239-244
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

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