A colorimetric microplate assay for determination of Staphylococcus aureus DNA is described. Linear padlock probes were designed to recognize target sequences. After DNA binding, the linear padlock probes were circularized by ligation and then hybridize with biotin-labeled capture probes. Biotin-labeled capture probes act as primers to initiate the RCA. The biotin-labeled RCA products hybridize with digoxin-labeled signal probes fixed on streptavidin-functionalized wells of a 96-well plate. To enhance sensitivity, an AuNP-anti-digoxigenin-POx-HRP conjugate was added to the wells and then bound to digoxin-labeled signalling probes. The oxidation of tetramethylbenzidine (TMB) by H2O2 produces a color change from colorless to blue via HRP catalysis. After the reaction was terminated, absorbance is measured at 450 nm. For target sequences of Staphylococcus aureus, the detection limit is 1.2 pM. For genomic DNA, the detection limit is 7.4 pg.μL-1. The potential application of the method was verified by analyzing spiked food samples. Graphical abstractSchematic representation of rolling circle amplification and functionalized AuNP-based colorimetric determination of Staphylococcus aureus. The method uses streptavidin-functionalized 96-well plates and RCA as a molecular tool and AuNP-anti-digoxigenin-POx-HRP as signal transduction markers to increase sensitivity.