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Poster: Diseases of Plants: Disease Detection & Diagnosis


DNA-nanosensor based diagnostics of plant pathogens
A. BAETSEN-YOUNG (1), M. Vasher (1), E. Alocilja (1), B. Day (1) (1) Michigan State University, U.S.A.

Crop loss from plant pathogens is a leading threat to food security in the United States. Current pathogen detection assays have limited field operability, leading to improper disease management decisions. Recently, rapid diagnostic DNA-nanosensors have increased perception and aided precision care of human pathogens in resource limited locations. Here we demonstrate the application of DNA-based nanosensor to detect an obligate biotroph, Pseudoperonospora cubensis. The detection of P. cubensis is based upon primers highly specific to a targeted gene, and the physical properties of DNA and nanoparticles with sodium chloride. Diluted DNA was denatured and cooled in a solution with the primers. Then nanoparticles were added to the solution followed by sodium chloride to reveal primer-target interaction. Target DNA presence was quantified colorimetrically (i.e. naked eye) and by absorbance on a spectrophotometer over a 400 to 700 nm range. Current PCR amplified target can be detected to 5 pg/mL by the naked eye. Optimization of this DNA-nanosensor to detect extracted genomic DNA, and within environmental matrices will be discussed. The deployment of this rapid bioassay has the potential to assist growers in developing sustainable disease management decisions in a field based setting.