Plant Pathogen Detection
Need to develop a rapid, efficient, and low cost method to detect and identify specific microbial pathogens including bacteria, viruses and fungi.
Why It Is Important
Current technologies for pathogen detection, such as real-time qPCR, require a relatively large amount of target and rely on specific assays to identify distinct pathogens. Multiple independent assays drastically increase the amount of template required as well as the cost. There is a clear and evident need to develop new technologies that can quickly, efficiently, and inexpensively identify pathogens of plants and humans based on genetic markers.
The team’s approach is founded on recent advances in nanotechnology, electrical engineering, genomics and biotechnology, and our vision is to utilize expertise from these distinct disciplines to solve the problem described above: rapid, low cost identification of microbes. We will use our combined expertise to synthesize, characterize, and micro-fabricate, electrochemical and conductance electrodes for DNA-based detection schemes are crucial for achieving pathogen identification. We place particular emphasis on fundamental mechanisms including how electrode morphology influences detection processes, and how to couple genomic information and bioinformatics to achieve our goals. Our long term output is intended for cell-phone sized devices which are field-ready for agriculture and food industries. Fundamental to our approach is the use of the rapidly increasing number of genome sequences available for a wide range of microbes, including those which are pathogens of plants and/or animals. Even closely related variants of a given pathogen species, which may have important differences in host range and/or pathogenicity, differ in their genome sequences. In the proposed project, this information is exploited to detect specific pathogens. Our vision is to directly detect genetic information at the molecular level with electronic detection methods.
Impacts & Highlights
- Revealed how nanostructure dictates biofouling sensitivity in porous electrodes and how the electrically-conductive porous network can be employed for electrophoretic release of captured targets
- Demonstrated techniques to modify the nanostructure of electrodes and include multiple electrodes with different nanostructure on a single-chip for a high throughput study of electrochemical biosensing
- Illustrated the utility of conductance measurements in multiplexed identification of sequence mismatches
- Filed a provisional patent on the detection-purification platform, titled “Nanoporous Gold Electrodes for Integrated Electrochemical Detection and Purification of Nucleic Acids”
- The established start-up, Astrona Biotechnologies, received IndieBio funding for intensive training on commercialization.
|Bryce Falk||Professor of Plant Pathology
|Erkin Seker||Assistant Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering|
|Maria L. Marco||Associate Professor of Food Science & Technology|
|Josh Hihath||Assistant Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering|
|Andre Knoesen||Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering|
|Paul A. Feldstein||Project Scientist of Plant Pathology|
|Zimple Matharu||Postdoc of Electrical & Computer Engineering|
|Pallavi Daggumati||Graduate Student of Electrical & Computer Engineering|
|Marc Pollack||Graduate Student of Microbiology|
|Yuanhui Li||Graduate Student of Electrical & Computer Engineering|
|Jovana Veselinovic||Graduate Student of Chemical Engineering|
|Cindy Ma||Undergraduate Student of Microbiology|
|Eric Tran||Undergraduate Student of Microbiology|
|Lynn Whang||Undergraduate Student of Microbiology|
For more information on this program, please contact Christine Parks firstname.lastname@example.org.