We demonstrate that firefly luciferase is a good reporter in Escherichia coli for transcription dynamics in response to the environment. E. coli strains, carrying a fusion of the promoter of the ycgZ gene and the coding region of the luciferase gene, showed transient bioluminescence on receiving blue light. This response was compromised in mutants lacking known regulators in manners consistent with each regulator's function. We also show that relA, a gene encoding a (p)ppGpp synthetase, affects ycgZ dynamics when nullified. Moreover, two unstable luciferase variants showed improved response dynamics and should be useful to study quick changes of gene expression.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology