Direct Detection of Tobacco Mosaic Virus in Infected Plants with SERS-Sensing Hydrogels

Lyndsay N. Kissell, Huazhen Liu, Manisha Sheokand, Der Vang, Pradeep Kachroo, Pietro Strobbia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The impact of plant pathogens on global crop yields is a major societal concern. The current agricultural diagnostic paradigm involves either visual inspection (inaccurate) or laboratory molecular tests (burdensome). While field-ready diagnostic methods have advanced in recent years, issues remain with detection of presymptomatic infections, multiplexed analysis, and requirement for in-field sample processing. To overcome these issues, we developed surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS)-sensing hydrogels that detect pathogens through simple contact with a leaf. In this work, we developed a novel reagentless SERS sensor for the detection of tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) and embedded it in an optimized hydrogel material to produce sensing hydrogels. To test the diagnostic application of our sensing hydrogels, we demonstrate their use to detect TMV infection in tobacco plants. This technology has the potential to shift the current agricultural diagnostic paradigm by offering a field-deployable tool for presymptomatic and multiplexed molecular identification of pathogens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)514-523
Number of pages10
JournalACS Sensors
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 26 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 American Chemical Society


  • RNA
  • SERS
  • hydrogel
  • in situ
  • plants
  • virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Instrumentation
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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