Development and Optimization of Chromosomally-Integrated Fluorescent Mycobacterium tuberculosis Reporter Constructs

Katharina Kolbe, Alice C. Bell, Gareth A. Prosser, Maike Assmann, Hee Jeong Yang, He Eun Forbes, Sophia Gallucci, Katrin D. Mayer-Barber, Helena I. Boshoff (Lead / Corresponding author), Clifton E. Barry (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
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Mycobacterium tuberculosis resides in the lungs in various lesion types with unique microenvironmental conditions. This diversity is in line with heterogeneous disease progression and divergent drug efficiency. Fluorescent reporter strains can be used to decipher the micromilieu and to guide future treatment regimens. Current reporters using replicating plasmids, however, are not suitable for long-term mouse infections or studies in non-human primates. Using a combination of recombinant DNA and protein optimization techniques, we have developed reporter strains based on integrative plasmids, which exhibit stimulus-response characteristics and fluorescence intensities comparable to those based on replicating plasmids. We successfully applied the concepts by constructing a multi-color reporter strain able to detect simultaneous changes in environmental pH, Mg2+ concentrations, and protein expression levels.

Original languageEnglish
Article number591866
Number of pages17
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Publication statusPublished - 9 Dec 2020


  • fluorescent protein
  • magnesium
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • pH
  • reporter strain
  • riboswitch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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