Fernández-Grandon, G. Mandela, Girling, Robbie D. and Poppy, Guy M.
Utilizing insect behavior in chemical detection by a behavioral biosensor
[in special issue: Proceedings of the Symposium “Biological interaction networks that promote biodiversity”]
Journal of Plant Interactions, 6, (2), . (doi:10.1080/17429145.2010.544778).
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Traditionally, biosensors have been defined as consisting of two parts; a biological part, which is used to detect chemical or physical changes in the environment, and a corresponding electronic component, which tranduces the signal into an electronically readable format. Biosensors are used for detection of volatile compounds often at a level of sensitivity unattainable by traditional analytical techniques. Classical biosensors and traditional analytical techniques do not allow an ecological context to be imparted to the volatile compound/s under investigation. Therefore, we propose the use of behavioral biosensors, in which a whole organism is utilized for the analysis of chemical stimuli. In this case, the organism detects a chemical or physical change and demonstrates this detection through modifications of its behavior; it is the organism's behavior itself that defines the biosensor. In this review, we evaluate the use and future prospects of behavioral biosensors, with a particular focus on parasitic wasps.
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