Minimally-invasive, real-time, non-destructive, species-independent phytohormone biosensor for precision farming

To keep up with population growth, precision farming technologies must be implemented to sustainably increase agricultural output. The impact of such technologies can be expanded by monitoring phytohormones, such as salicylic acid. In this study, we present a plant-wearable electrochemical sensor for in situ detection of salicylic acid. The sensor utilizes microneedle-based electrodes that are functionalized with a layer of salicylic acid selective magnetic molecularly imprinted polymers. The sensor's capability to detect the phytohormone is demonstrated both in vitro and in vivo with a limit of detection of 2.74 μM and a range of detection that can reach as high as 150 μM. Furthermore, the selectivity of the sensor is verified by testing the sensor on commonly occurring phytohormones. Finally, we demonstrate the capability of the sensor to detect the onset of fungal infestation in Tobacco 5 min post-inoculation. This work shows that the sensor could serve as a promising platform for continuous and non-destructive monitoring in the field and as a fundamental research tool when coupled with a portable potentiostat.

Bukhamsin, A., Ait Lahcen, A., Filho, J. D. O., Shetty, S., Blilou, I., Kosel, J., & Salama, K. N. (2022). Minimally-invasive, real-time, non-destructive, species-independent phytohormone biosensor for precision farming. Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 114515.

The authors thank Dr. Ulrich Buttner (KAUST – NCL staff), Dr. Verappan Mani (KAUST – Research scientist), Tutku Beduk (KAUST – Ph.D.), and Khalil Moussi (KAUST – Ph.D.) for useful discussions and support. The research was funded and supported by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). The first and second authors contributed equally to this work.

Elsevier BV

Biosensors and Bioelectronics


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