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Three Shoolini Researchers Identify an Immunosensor for Protection of Himachal Cash Crop Capsicum

Three Shoolini University researchers, Anshul Sharma, Ankur Kaushal & Saurabh Kulshrestha, have discovered the potential of an immunosensor at detecting capsicum chlorosis virus in bell pepper. Their study was recently published in the Archive of Virology journal by international publisher Springer. With their research findings, they have introduced a diagnostic technique to detect plant viruses that are superior at presenting detection methods in practice.

Sharma, Kaushal & Kulshrestha jointly wrote the study that is published in the Official Journal of the Virology Division of the International Union of Microbiological Societies, titled as ‘A Nano-Au/C-MWCNT based label-free amperometric immunosensor for the detection of capsicum chlorosis virus in bell pepper’. In the study, they claim that a label-free immunosensor can be used for efficient and sensitive detection of capsicum chlorosis virus (CaCV) in bell pepper.


Capsicum, an important cash crop in Himachal Pradesh, is in constant danger of plant viruses. These plant viruses cause loss of quality and quantity of agricultural yield. Tospovirus is one of the most common viruses that attacks plants and capsicum, thus causing defects such as mosaic, ring spots, mottle, wilting in leaves, line patterns, leaf deformation as well as stem and top necrosis.


Researchers are always on the hunt to find reliable detection methods of the plant virus. Recently, Tospovirus has been detected in Amaranth and bell pepper in Himachal Pradesh.

Shoolini University has always considered it as their responsibility to preserve and protect vegetation in the region. Researchers at the university engage themselves in a constant endeavor to solve problems faced by plants and vegetation in the region.

Immunosenors are biosensors based on antigen-antibody interaction use to detect plant pathogen. They are reliable and have been in use for monitoring organic pollution in food, environment studies, and clinical diagnosis.

What makes this study unique?

The study has reported immobilization of CaCV antigen onto screen-printed Nano-Au/C-MWCNT electrode surface through antibody interaction and later compared it with traditional serological methods. This study is unlike earlier studies that revolved around the understanding of virus structure but did not give relevance to the sensitivity of the biosensor. Previous studies have been conducted using direct capture of a bacterial cell or red blood cells, but never with plant viruses.

Study findings

The researchers have represented fabrication of immunosensors for detecting CaCV in infected bell pepper leaves.  This was done using CaCV JI sample that belonged to district Bilaspur in Himachal Pradesh. A serological technique called ELISA is regularly performed for virus detection. However, the new study found that ELISA is inferior to the amperometric immunosensor used in this study.  Though the said immunosensor is fast and reliable, its applicability is subject to the further investigation and understanding.

Special thanks too

The study researchers have thanked Dr. PK Khosla, Hon’ble Vice Chancellor, Shoolini University of Biotechnology and Management Sciences, Solan and Foundation for Life Sciences and Business Management, Solan for providing financial assistance and research facilities to carry out the study.  They also thank Dr. Bikash Mandal, Senior Scientist, Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) for providing CaCV/GBNV – specific antibodies without which this research would not have been possible.


The research is not final; it is a preliminary finding as per its authors. The study is still progressing for better results. The continued investigation will study the relative stability of immobilized antibodies.