Novel Sensors for Engineering Microbiology
The development of sustainable, biocatalytic routes to compounds otherwise derived from petrochemical processes is one of the major objectives in the field of biotechnology. Obtaining suitable microbial strains for this task still depends on the generation of strain variants and the subsequent screening or selection process. While the technical advances in DNA manipulation and synthesis allow rapid generation of millions to billions of metabolic pathway variants for a given product, the knowledge of which variants to generate and how to assess them in a high-throughput manner is lacking behind. The latter problem is increasingly tackled through the use of biosensors, by which product titers are coupled to easily detectable in vivo reporters such as fluorescent proteins. This in turn requires an interface where the presence of the desired product can trigger the formation of the reporter. Therefore, this chapter discusses how such an interface can be implemented and reviews the types of genetically encoded sensors available, their construction and applications, and how the specificities of future biosensors could be developed.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreements No 635536 (EmPowerPutida) and 635734 (ROBOX).
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