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Eberly College of Arts and Sciences




Widespread use of the chlorotriazine herbicide, atrazine, has led to serious environmental and human health consequences. Current methods of detecting atrazine contamination are neither rapid nor cost-effective. In this work, atrazine-specific single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) molecular recognition elements (MRE) were isolated. We utilized a stringent Systematic Evolution of Ligands by Exponential Enrichment (SELEX) methodology that placed the greatest emphasis on what the MRE should not bind to. After twelve rounds of SELEX, an atrazine-specific MRE with high affinity was obtained. The equilibrium dissociation constant (Kd) of the ssDNA sequence is 0.62 ± 0.21 nM. It also has significant selectivity for atrazine over atrazine metabolites and other pesticides found in environmentally similar locations and concentrations. Furthermore, we have detected environmentally relevant atrazine concentrations in river water using this MRE. The strong affinity and selectivity of the selected atrazine-specific ssDNA validated the stringent SELEX methodology and identified a MRE that will be useful for rapid atrazine detection in environmental samples

Source Citation

Williams, R., Crihfield, C., Gattu, S., Holland, L., & Sooter, L. (2014). In Vitro Selection of a Single-Stranded DNA Molecular Recognition Element against Atrazine. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 15(8), 14332–14347.


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License



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