Microfluidic Device for Simple Diagnosis of Plant Growth Condition by Detecting miRNAs from Filtered Plant Extracts

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Abstract

Plants are exposed to a variety of environmental stress, and starvation of inorganic phosphorus can be a major constraint in crop production. In plants, in response to phosphate deficiency in soil, miR399, a type of microRNA (miRNA), is up-regulated. By detecting miR399, the early diagnosis of phosphorus deficiency stress in plants can be accomplished. However, general miRNA detection methods require complicated experimental manipulations. Therefore, simple and rapid miRNA detection methods are required for early plant nutritional diagnosis. For the simple detection of miR399, microfluidic technology is suitable for point-of-care applications because of its ability to detect target molecules in small amounts in a short time and with simple manipulation. In this study, we developed a microfluidic device to detect miRNAs from filtered plant extracts for the easy diagnosis of plant growth conditions. To fabricate the microfluidic device, verification of the amine-terminated glass as the basis of the device and the DNA probe immobilization method on the glass was conducted. In this device, the target miRNAs were detected by fluorescence of sandwich hybridization in a microfluidic channel. For plant stress diagnostics using a microfluidic device, we developed a protocol for miRNA detection by validating the sample preparation buffer, filtering, and signal amplification. Using this system, endogenous sly-miR399 in tomatoes, which is expressed in response to phosphorus deficiency, was detected before the appearance of stress symptoms. This early diagnosis system of plant growth conditions has a potential to improve food production and sustainability through cultivation management.

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Kawakatsu, Y., Okada, R., Hara, M., Tsutsui, H., Yanagisawa, N., Higashiyama, T., … Notaguchi, M. (2024). Microfluidic Device for Simple Diagnosis of Plant Growth Condition by Detecting miRNAs from Filtered Plant Extracts. Plant Phenomics, 6. https://doi.org/10.34133/plantphenomics.0162

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