Tracking transience: a method for dynamic monitoring of biological events in Arabidopsis thaliana biosensors

George Hines, Cyrus Modavi, Keni Jiang, Andrew Packard, Kameshwar Poolla, Lewis Feldman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Main conclusion: The activation and level of expression of an endogenous, stress-responsive biosensor (bioreporter) can be visualized in real-time and non-destructively using highly accessible equipment (fluorometer). Biosensor output can be linked to computer-controlled systems to enable feedback-based control of a greenhouse environment. Today’s agriculture requires an ability to precisely and rapidly assess the physiological stress status of plants in order to optimize crop yield. Here we describe the implementation and utility of a detection system based on a simple fluorometer design for real-time, continuous, and non-destructive monitoring of a genetically engineered biosensor plant. We report the responses to heat stress of Arabidopsis thaliana plants expressing a Yellow Fluorescent Protein bioreporter under the control of the DREB2A temperature-sensing promoter. Use of this bioreporter provides the ability to identify transient and steady-state behavior of gene activation in response to stress, and serves as an interface for novel experimental protocols. Models identified through such experiments inform the development of computer-based feedback control systems for the greenhouse environment, based on in situ monitoring of mature plants. More broadly, the work here provides a basis for informing biologists and engineers about the kinetics of bioreporter constructs, and also about ways in which other fluorescent protein constructs could be integrated into automated control systems.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1251-1261
Number of pages11
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-11-03
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): 93271
Acknowledgements: This work was supported by funding from KAUST (93271) and the National Science Foundation (MCB-313546).
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science
  • Genetics


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