Rhodococcus opacus PD630 is a nonmodel, Gram-positive bacterium that possesses desirable traits for biomass conversion, including consumption capabilities for lignocellulose-based sugars and toxic lignin-derived aromatic compounds, significant triacylglycerol accumulation, relatively rapid growth rate, and genetic tractability. However, few genetic elements have been directly characterized in R. opacus, limiting its application for lignocellulose bioconversion. Here, we report the characterization and development of genetic tools for tunable gene expression in R. opacus, including: (1) six fluorescent reporters for quantifying promoter output, (2) three chemically inducible promoters for variable gene expression, and (3) two classes of metabolite sensors derived from native R. opacus promoters that detect nitrogen levels or aromatic compounds. Using these tools, we also provide insights into native aromatic consumption pathways in R. opacus. Overall, this work expands the ability to control and characterize gene expression in R. opacus for future lignocellulose-based fuel and chemical production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1973-1978
Number of pages6
JournalACS synthetic biology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 20 2017


  • Rhodococcus opacus
  • aromatic
  • lignin
  • nitrogen
  • promoter
  • sensor


Dive into the research topics of 'Development of Chemical and Metabolite Sensors for Rhodococcus opacus PD630'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this