Biotech Updates

Biosensors Detect Non-visible Rot in Potatoes

August 24, 2022

Israeli scientists used smart engineering and optics to create sensors that light up when exposed to potato rot. This early detection of rot in potato can potentially inhibit the rot from spreading, reduce food wastage, and increase economic gain for potato farmers.

The study was conducted by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Israel's Agricultural Research Organization (Volcani Institute). The sensor they developed has a bacterial compound that lights up when exposed to an infected potato. The compound comprises four genetically engineered bacteria that measure biological toxicity. The strength of the sensor's light helps determine the concentration of the rot in the potato tuber, making the characteristics of the disease easily quantifiable for analysis. The sensors can also detect the rot before it is visible, thus potatoes with rot but do not exhibit it can be easily identified and kept away from healthy tubers to prevent its spread.

To learn more, read the full paper in Talanta.

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