Reassessing the rationale behind herbicide biosensors: The case of a photosystem II/redox polymer-based bioelectrodefs

Wang, P. and Zhao, F. and Hartmann, V. and Nowaczyk, M.M. and Ruff, A. and Schuhmann, W. and Conzuelo, F.

Volume: 136 Pages:
DOI: 10.1016/j.bioelechem.2020.107597
Published: 2020

Interfacing photosynthetic protein complexes with electrodes is frequently used for the identification of electron transfer mechanisms and the fabrication of biosensors. Binding of herbicide compounds to the terminal plastoquinone QB at photosystem II (PSII) causes disruption of electron flow that is associated with a diminished performance of the associated biodevice. Thus, the principle of electron transport inhibition at PSII can be used for herbicide detection and has inspired the fabrication of several biosensors for this purpose. However, the biosensor performance may reveal a more complex behavior than generally expected. As we present here for a photobioelectrode constituted by PSII embedded in a redox polymer matrix, the effect caused by inhibitors does not only impact the electron transfer from PSII but also the properties of the polymer film used for immobilization and electrical wiring of the protein complexes. Incorporation of phenolic inhibitors into the polymer film surprisingly translates into enhanced photocurrents and, in particular cases, in a higher stability of the overall electrode architecture. The achieved results stress the importance to evaluate first the possible influence of analytes of interest on the biosensor architecture as a whole and provide important insights for consideration in future design of bioelectrochemical devices. © 2020

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