Date of Award

Summer 8-15-2014

Author's Department

Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Type



Biofuel is a promising substitute for fossil fuel and the research of biofuel production has been extensively conducted during the recent years. Great efforts have been made to create many types of the fuel production hosts. However, effective approaches for high specificity and high throughput screening of the fuel production strains are still lacking. The cellular stress response is one universal defense mechanism when a microbial cell is exposed to an unfavorable substance or environment. It triggers a series of downstream responses when a cell senses certain chemicals. Transcriptional factors are widely used in living organisms to regulate gene expression. They can recognize and bind to specific DNA sequences on the promoter region to repress or activate the DNA transcription. One of the applications in actual practice is to create biosensors using these mechanisms. The biosensors can be designed to detect specific fuel molecules and become useful screening tools in metabolic engineering research and industrial production area. In this study, I demonstrated a novel method for biosensor design based on cellular stress response and the recent developments in genetic circuits.


English (en)


Fuzhong Zhang

Committee Members

Yinjie Tang


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