Mangosteen Peel Extract Helps Rice Grow and Fights Plant Disease

Jim Crocker
18th January, 2024

Mangosteen Peel Extract Helps Rice Grow and Fights Plant Disease

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Imagine you've got a bunch of suspicious-looking tiny particles and a problem with plant diseases. How do you connect the two? Well, scientists figured out a pretty neat trick. They've managed to create these minuscule things called zinc oxide nanoparticles (that's ZnO NPs for short), and they're using them to fight off a pesky bacterium that causes rice blight—a serious issue for rice plants. But here's the catch. They're not concocting these particles out of thin air or toxic materials. Nope, they're using the leftovers from mangosteen—a tropical fruit. The peels, to be exact. Sounds like some kind of magic, right? They take the mangosteen peels and prepare an extract with ethanol—that's fancy talk for a kind of alcohol. This extract is then used to make the nanoparticles. Now, before you shout “hocus-pocus,” let's get down to the nitty-gritty. There's this high-tech method called X-ray diffraction analysis: it helps to see what the particles look like and how pure they are. It turns out that these ZnO nanoparticles are a specific kind called wurtzite, and they're really tiny—just a bit bigger than 38 nanometers. That's like comparing the size of a marble to the Earth! And just to be sure they made what they intended, they checked the nanoparticles' optical properties, which is just a fancy way of saying "they shone some light on them and observed what happened." This test showed a nice peak at 363 nanometers in the ultraviolet-visible spectrum. They also made sure no other unwanted stuff from the mangosteen peels got into the nanoparticles by doing another test called Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. But how do we know they're any good against the bad guys, the bacteria? Well, the scientists went to war with the bacteria in a test tube and discovered that a particular concentration of these particles stops half of the bacteria from growing. The concentration that completely stops the bacteria is a bit higher. Not only did they manage to tackle the rice blight, but they also found that when you treat rice plants with double the amount needed to hinder half the bacterium's growth, the plants actually did better! They grew longer roots, packed on dry weight, and even had more of that green pigment, chlorophyll, which is crucial for plants to turn sunlight into energy. So, what's the big deal? These zinc oxide nanoparticles are like a two-for-one deal: they help smack down the plant diseases and act like spinach for the plants, helping them grow stronger and healthier. This all points to a green thumbs-up for using this high-tech solution in what's called "green agriculture." Instead of dousing plants with antibiotics—which can cause other problems like resistant bacteria—the mangosteen peel nanoparticles are a smarter move. They are like eco-friendly soldiers in the battle to keep plants healthy and to produce more food without harming the environment. The team at Kasetsart University in Bangkok took a deep dive into this method and shared these insights. Their work shines a light on how tiny particles made from fruit waste could be a game-changer for agriculture, and they're just getting started. Who knew that science could turn fruit peels into plant protectors? Science – it’s always keeping us on our toes.



Main Study

1) Potential usage of biosynthesized zinc oxide nanoparticles from mangosteen peel ethanol extract to inhibit Xanthomonas oryzae and promote rice growth.

Published 15th January, 2024

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