Development of peptide nucleic acid-based bead array technology for Bacillus cereus detection

Prae Noppakuadrittidej, Ratthaphol Charlermroj, Manlika Makornwattana, Sudtida Kaew-Amdee, Rungaroon Waditee-Sirisattha, Tirayut Vilaivan, Thanit Praneenararat*, Nitsara Karoonuthaisiri*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Numerous novel methods to detect foodborne pathogens have been extensively developed to ensure food safety. Among the important foodborne bacteria, Bacillus cereus was identified as a pathogen of concern that causes various food illnesses, leading to interest in developing effective detection methods for this pathogen. Although a standard method based on culturing and biochemical confirmative test is available, it is time- and labor-intensive. Alternative PCR-based methods have been developed but lack high-throughput capacity and ease of use. This study, therefore, attempts to develop a robust method for B. cereus detection by leveraging the highly specific pyrrolidinyl peptide nucleic acids (PNAs) as probes for a bead array method with multiplex and high-throughput capacity. In this study, PNAs bearing prolyl-2-aminocyclopentanecarboxylic acid (ACPC) backbone with groEL, motB, and 16S rRNA sequences were covalently coupled with three sets of fluorescently barcoded beads to detect the three B. cereus genes. The developed acpcPNA-based bead array exhibited good selectivity where only signals were detectable in the presence of B. cereus, but not for other species. The sensitivity of this acpcPNA-based bead assay in detecting genomic DNA was found to be 0.038, 0.183 and 0.179 ng for groEL, motB and 16S rRNA, respectively. This performance was clearly superior to its DNA counterpart, hence confirming much stronger binding strength of acpcPNA over DNA. The robustness of the developed method was further demonstrated by testing artificially spiked milk and pickled mustard greens with minimal interference from food metrices. Hence, this proof-of-concept acpcPNA-based bead array method has been proven to serve as an effective alternative nucleic acid-based method for foodborne pathogens.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12482
JournalScientific Reports
Early online date01 Aug 2023
Publication statusEarly online date - 01 Aug 2023


  • Polymerase Chain Reaction - methods
  • Food Microbiology
  • Bacillus cereus - genetics
  • Peptide Nucleic Acids
  • DNA
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S - genetics


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