Electrochemical detection of plant virus using gold nanoparticle-modified electrodes

Mohga Khater, Alfredo de la Escosura-Muñiz, Daniel Quesada-González, Arben Merkoçi. Analytica Chimica Acta

Tristeza is one of the destructive diseases of citrus causing by citrus tristeza virus (CTV). Historically, CTV has been associated with serious outbreaks of quick decline of citrus, therefore CTV monitoring is important aspect for avoiding such re-emerging epidemics, which would threat citrus production through the world. In this context, we have designed for the first time a label-free impedimetric biosensor for the detection of nucleic acid of CTV. The sensing platform based on a screen-printed carbon electrode (SPCE) was modified by electrodeposited gold nanoparticles (AuNPs), which allowed to efficiently immobilizing thiolated ssDNA probes as well to enhance the electrode conductivity. The growth of AuNPs was optimized and characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), cyclic voltammetry (CV) and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). We investigated the behavior of thiolated ssDNA probe layer and its hybridization with target DNA onto AuNP surfaces by EIS measurements in Fe(CN6)4-/Fe(CN6)3- red-ox system. The main sensor design aspects such as AuNPs size, probe DNA concentration and immobilization time together with DNA hybridization time were optimized so as to achieve the best performance. Impedance values of DNA hybridization increased with Citrus tristeza-related synthetic DNA concentration, showing a logarithmic relation in the range of 0.1–10 μM. The results also indicate that the biosensor was able to selectively detect CTV nucleic acids in the presence of other non-specific DNAs. Moreover, we have demonstrated the good performance of the system in a real plant sample matrix. In addition, the sensor reproducibility enhanced after the hybridization onto MCH/poly (AT) thiolated DNA probes which was confirmed by intra- and inter-day variability assays.

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