Luciferin Synthesis and Pesticide Detection by Luminescence Enzymatic Cascades
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Dangerous pesticides could be easily detected by using a green reaction that produces analogues of the compound that causes fireflies to glow.
Organophosphate pesticides are used to protect crops from insects, but they can poison animals and people when they build up in food chains and contaminate fresh water. This is especially problematic in developing countries, where their use is not as tightly regulated compared with developed economies.
Now, a team led by researchers from Vidyasirimedhi Institute of Science and Technology (VISTEC) in Thailand has devised a simple reaction that can detect the presence of organophosphate pesticides by converting them into luminescent compounds that are similar to luciferin — the substrate for the enzyme that makes fireflies glow.
The team used the reaction to detect three organophosphate pesticides at parts per trillion levels in samples of blood, urine and fruit.
- Angewandte Chemie International Edition 61, e202116908 (2022). doi: 10.1002/anie.202116908