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O2-requiring molecular reporters of gene expression for anaerobic microorganisms

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics
Early online date20 Sep 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Many genetic reporter systems require molecular oxygen; therefore, the use of reporter genes to study molecular mechanisms in anaerobic microorganisms has been hampered by the lack of convenient reporting systems. We describe reporter gene whole cell-based biosensor systems based on luciferase genes and the associated oxygen-requiring enzymes. By using two different oxygen-dependent reporters, insect and bacterial luciferases, and two bacterial hosts, Gram (+) Bifidobacterium longum and Gram (-) Escherichia coli, we show that the enzymes can be used in gene expression studies of anaerobic bacteria. E. coli, a facultative anaerobe, was grown both in aerobic and anaerobic conditions with an arabinose-inducible expression system. We show that a short treatment time of few minutes in ambient atmosphere is sufficient to detect light emission from living cells that is directly proportional to the number of cells and to the inducer concentration. The induction levels were the same in both the aerobically and anaerobically cultured cells. Similar results were obtained in the case of B. longum cultured in anaerobic conditions.


  • Bioluminescence, Gram (+), Gram (-), Luciferase, Arabinose induction

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Field of science, Statistics Finland

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