Herein we describe the design and synthesis of novel artificial peptides mimicking the plastoquinone binding niche of the D1 protein from the green photosynthetic alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, also able to bind herbicides. In particular, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations were performed to model in silico the behaviour of three peptides, D1Pep70-H, D1Pep70-S264K and D1Pep70-S268C, as genetic variants with different affinity towards the photosynthetic herbicide atrazine. Then the photosynthetic peptides were functionalised with quantum dots for the development of a hybrid optosensor for the detection of atrazine, one of the most employed herbicides for weed control in agriculture as well as considered as a putative endocrine disruptor case study. The excellent agreement between computational and experimental results self consistently shows resistance or super-sensitivity toward the atrazine target, with detection limits in the μg/L concentration range, meeting the requirements of E.U. legislation.
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published - 2021|