An aptamer based fluorometric microcystin-LR assay using DNA strand-based competitive displacement
The high-affinity region of a truncated aptamer was applied to the development of a sensitive method for the determination of microcystin-LR (MC-LR) using competitive displacement and molecular beacons. In this assay, the fluorophore and quencher labelled complementary sequences of the aptamer are hybridized with the truncated aptamer to form a fluorophore-quencher pair. In the presence of MC-LR, the aptamer duplex dissociates, and the fluorophore-quencher pair is separated. This turn leads to an increase in the yellow fluorescence which is best measured at excitation/emission wavelengths of 555/580 nm. One of the truncated aptamers showed a 50-fold increase in the affinity (0.93 nM) compared to the wild type aptamer (50 nM). The truncated sequence shows considerable cross-reactivity with L congeners but none with other congeners. The assay works in 0.5 to 200 nM MC-LR concentration range. It was applied to spiked tap water samples and gave recoveries around 95 ± 5%.
KeywordsAptasensor SELEX Fluorescence assay Marine toxins Microcystin-LR Cyanobacterial toxins Aptamer truncation Blue-green algae Harmful algae Graphene oxide
Compliance with ethical standards
The author(s) declare that they have no competing interests.
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