Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Glowing Bacteria: DuPont And UD Scientists Detect Poultry Toxin And Other Environmental Contaminants

Date:
March 22, 1999
Source:
University Of Delaware
Summary:
By harnessing glowing bacteria, scientists at the DuPont Co. and the University of Delaware have created inexpensive biosensors that rapidly detect a key toxin in poultry feed, as well as broad classes of other environmental contaminants, including herbicides and metals.

ANAHEIM, CALIF.--By harnessing glowing bacteria, scientists at the DuPont Co. and the University of Delaware have created inexpensive biosensors that rapidly detect a key toxin in poultry feed, as well as broad classes of other environmental contaminants, including herbicides and metals.

Related Articles


"Our glowing bacteria should make it easier to pre-screen for potential contaminants, including aflatoxin B1, a known carcinogen that can be toxic for chickens," DuPont Co. researcher Tina K. Van Dyk will report March 21 during the American Chemical Society meeting.*

Aflatoxin B1 is produced by molds found in poultry feed, and it "can be of concern for human foods, too," says Van Dyk, a UD graduate who worked with Robin W. Morgan, a professor of animal and food sciences at UD.

The research is fundamental, Van Dyk says, but it should be compatible with a simple, hand-held device for spotting contaminants on farms or in other real-world settings. "A light detector could be used to measure the bioluminescent response of these genetically engineered bacteria to various chemicals," she explains.

To make the glowing biosensors, Van Dyk and Morgan combined genetic material from Photorhabdus luminescens--a bioluminescent bacterium--with part of the common bacterium, Escherichia coli, or E. coli. Specifically, the researchers fused "glow-making" genes from the luxCDABE group to various E. coli promoters, which respond to damaging environmental threats by triggering the production of new proteins.

The result, Van Dyk says, is that "any stress activates bioluminescence in the resulting cells. The engineered cells emit light in response to protein damage, acidification, exposure to antibiotics and other forms of stress."

So far, the DuPont/UD research team has subjected a panel of six E. coli biosensor strains to nine chemicals. Some of the chemicals, such as the herbicide, 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2-4D), can be found in the environment. In response to each chemical, the biosensors produced a "characteristic stress fingerprint," Van Dyk says.

The biosensors detect general classes of contaminants, rather than specific chemicals. Van Dyk says she views the technology "mainly as a pre-screening method."

The DuPont Co. holds patents on stress responsive gene fusions to the "glow-making" luxCDABE genes, Van Dyk says. Other DuPont researchers working with Van Dyk included Dana R. Smulski, David A. Elsemore and Robert A. LaRossa.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Delaware. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Delaware. "Glowing Bacteria: DuPont And UD Scientists Detect Poultry Toxin And Other Environmental Contaminants." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 March 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/03/990322061307.htm>.
University Of Delaware. (1999, March 22). Glowing Bacteria: DuPont And UD Scientists Detect Poultry Toxin And Other Environmental Contaminants. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/03/990322061307.htm
University Of Delaware. "Glowing Bacteria: DuPont And UD Scientists Detect Poultry Toxin And Other Environmental Contaminants." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/03/990322061307.htm (accessed January 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nanoscale Sensor Could Help Wine Producers and Clinical Scientists

Nanoscale Sensor Could Help Wine Producers and Clinical Scientists

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 30, 2015) A nanosensor that mimics the oral effects and sensations of drinking wine has been developed by Danish and Portuguese researchers. Jim Drury saw it in operation. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dog-Loving Astronaut Wins Best Photo of 2015

Dog-Loving Astronaut Wins Best Photo of 2015

Buzz60 (Jan. 30, 2015) Retired astronaut and television host, Leland Melvin, snuck his dogs into the NASA studio so they could be in his official photo. As Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) shows us, the secret is out. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The U.S. has proposed analyzing genetic information from more than 1 million American volunteers to learn how genetic variants affect health and disease. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rarest Cat on Planet Caught Attacking Monkeys on Camera

Rarest Cat on Planet Caught Attacking Monkeys on Camera

Buzz60 (Jan. 30, 2015) An African Golden Cat, the rarest large cat on the planet was recently caught on camera by scientists trying to study monkeys. The cat comes out of nowhere to attack those monkeys. Patrick Jones (@Patrick_E_Jones) has the rest. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins