Nihad Ahmed, Sallam AL-Madhagi, Mayreli Ortiz, Ciara K.O’Sullivan and Ioanis Katakis have published the following article:

Direct electrochemical detection of enzyme labelled, isothermally amplified DNA
Analytical Biochemistry, Volume 598, 1 June 2020, 113705

Genosensors for the detection of DNA via hybridisation normally require post-amplification processing such as the generation of single-stranded DNA and pre-detection labelling, complicating and lengthening the assay. A straightforward electrochemical genosensor, for the direct detection of isothermally generated nucleic acid amplicons via hybridisation is reported. The detection of Karlodinium armiger, responsible for harmful algae blooms was used as a model system to demonstrate the proof of concept. The approach exploits the use of specifically modified primers designed to generate amplicons with a central duplex flanked by a single-stranded tail at one end of the duplex and a horse-radish peroxidase on the other end. Individual gold electrodes of an array were functionalised with self-assembled monolayers of short thiolated DNA probes, designed to hybridise with the single-stranded tailed amplicon with the reporter enzyme label incorporated. The optimum amplification time was determined to be 60 min, at a fixed temperature of 37 ?C. The hybridisation time to the enzyme labelled amplicon was optimised to be 10 min, but 2 min hybridisation time was also adequate. In this first example of using horse radish peroxidase-labelled primer in solution-phase recombinase polymerase amplification for subsequent detection via solid-phase hybridisation, the detection limit achieved was 0.4 fM, equivalent to 27622 cells/L, and the developed genosensor was applied to the detection of synthetic as well as genomic DNA, which had been extracted from a seawater sample.