Bioreporters are effective research tools for gaining an understanding of a microbe's perception of the world. Fitted with a fusion of an environmentally responsive promoter to a suitable reporter gene, a bacterial or fungal bioreporter is able to communicate its metabolic or transcriptional behavior in a habitat, and furnish us with information on the chemical, physical or biological properties of its immediate surroundings. This review details recent developments in the use of such bioreporters in microbial ecology. Emphasis is placed on reporter genes that allow detection in individual microbial cells, as they provide a high-resolution description of the habitat under investigation. In an outlook on the future of bioreporter technology, this review stresses the need to interpret the activity of a bioreporter within the context of its biology. [KEYWORDS: bioreporter; biosensor; whole cell; single cell; reporter gene; reporter protein; green fluorescent protein; beta-galactosidase; ice nucleation protein]
Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Opinion in Microbiology
Journal publication date2002

ID: 170951