Whole-cell Bacterial Sensors for Environmental DNA Detection
DNA detection is used for disease diagnosis, agriculture, industrial monitoring, and ecological tracking. While advances have been made in cost and portability, the need to manually collect samples is limiting. Here we engineer naturally competent Bacillus subtilis to build autonomous whole-cell DNA sensors. We show that engineered B. subtilis can take up exogenous DNA sequences and then turn on an output gene via a homologous recombination mechanism. Whole-cell DNA sensors could be applied for spatially-resolved large-scale DNA detection.