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Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2010 Dec;13(6):736-43. doi: 10.1016/j.pbi.2010.08.010. Epub 2010 Sep 25.

Biosensors in plants.

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  • 1University of Warwick, CV35 9EF, UK.


Biosensors come in an increasing array of forms and their development is defining the rate of advance for our understanding of many natural processes. Developmental biology is increasingly using mathematical models and yet few of these models are based on quantitative recordings. In particular, we know comparatively little about the endogenous concentrations or fluxes of signalling molecules such as the phytohormones, an area of great potential for new biosensors. There are extremely useful biosensors for some signals, but most remain qualitative. Other qualities sought in biosensors are temporal and spatial resolution and, usually, an ability to use them without significantly perturbing the system. Currently, the biosensors with the best properties are the genetically encoded optical biosensors based on FRET, but each sensor needs extensive specific effort to develop. Sensor technologies using antibodies as the recognition domain are more generic, but these tend to be more invasive and there are few examples of their use in plant biology. By capturing some of the opportunities appearing with advances in platform technologies it is hoped that more biosensors will become available to plant scientists.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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