Durable Antifungal Coating for Rapeseed Plants Using Copper Molybdate Nanoflakes

Greg Howard
5th March, 2024

Durable Antifungal Coating for Rapeseed Plants Using Copper Molybdate Nanoflakes

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • Scientists at Wuhan Polytechnic University developed a new antifungal agent using molybdenum copper lindgrenite nanoflakes
  • These nanoflakes can inhibit the growth of the fungus Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, which affects oilseed rape crops
  • Spraying the nanoflake solution on crops reduced fungal growth by about 34%
In the realm of agriculture, the battle against fungal diseases is ongoing and arduous, particularly for crops like oilseed rape, a crucial source of vegetable oil. One such formidable fungal adversary is Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, responsible for stem rot, a disease that significantly hampers crop yield worldwide. Scientists have been on the quest for novel methods to protect crops from this pathogen. A recent breakthrough from researchers at Wuhan Polytechnic University may offer a new weapon in this fight: the use of specially engineered nanoflakes as an antifungal agent[1]. Nanoparticles, minuscule particles that measure in billionths of a meter, have been recognized for their potential in plant protection due to their unique properties. These properties include their ability to interact at a molecular level with pathogens and their environment. The current study from Wuhan Polytechnic University has introduced molybdenum copper lindgrenite (CM) nanoflakes, a new type of nanoparticle synthesized through a low-temperature reaction suitable for large-scale production. The CM nanoflakes are characterized by their uniform, parallelogram shape and are about 30 nanometers thick. These nanoflakes exhibit a stable monoclinic structure and can withstand significant temperature changes without losing their form. The researchers suggest that due to their larger surface area, these nanoparticles can bind with more metal ions and produce reactive oxygen species (ROS). ROS are chemically reactive molecules containing oxygen, which, in controlled amounts, can be detrimental to fungal pathogens. In previous studies, the modulation of ROS has been established as a critical factor in the pathogenesis of S. sclerotiorum[2]. The fungus's ability to manage ROS levels is linked to its virulence, the degree to which it can cause disease. This understanding has paved the way for the development of strategies that could disrupt the pathogen's ROS modulation, thereby reducing its ability to infect plants. The antifungal effectiveness of CM nanoflakes was evaluated through laboratory tests and outdoor experiments. In the lab, the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) - the lowest concentration that inhibits visible growth - was found to be 100 parts per million (ppm) for S. sclerotiorum. This concentration effectively created a zone where the fungus could not grow. In outdoor tests, spraying oilseed rape with an 80 ppm solution of CM nanoflakes at the initial flowering stage resulted in approximately 34% inhibition of the fungus. A two-stage spraying regimen with a lower concentration also yielded similar results. The study's findings align with the earlier research on the use of nanoparticles for plant protection. For instance, hybrid ensembles of glycol-coated bimetallic nanoparticles have shown growth inhibition of phytopathogenic fungi like S. sclerotiorum[3]. Moreover, mycogenic synthesis of metal oxide nanoparticles has demonstrated high antimicrobial activities against various pathogens, including fungi[4]. These studies underscore the potential of nanoparticles as a means to control plant diseases. The biogenic synthesis of nanoparticles using fungi has also been explored, with certain nanoparticles exhibiting inhibitory activity against S. sclerotiorum[5]. The use of fungal organisms to produce nanoparticles adds an eco-friendly aspect to this technology by utilizing natural processes. The current study by Wuhan Polytechnic University builds upon this body of work by introducing a new type of nanoparticle with promising antifungal properties. The CM nanoflakes not only offer an effective means to combat S. sclerotiorum but also hold potential for large-scale industrial production, which is crucial for widespread agricultural application. In conclusion, the development of CM nanoflakes as an antifungal agent represents a significant advancement in plant protection. By leveraging the unique properties of nanoparticles, this study provides a new approach to safeguarding crops against fungal diseases, which could lead to more stable agricultural yields and food security. The integration of these findings with previous research marks a step forward in the use of nanotechnology in agriculture, offering a glimmer of hope in the ongoing struggle against crop diseases.

BiotechPlant ScienceAgriculture


Main Study

1) Highly stable and antifungal properties on the oilseed rape of Cu3(MoO4)2(OH)2 nanoflakes prepared by simple aqueous precipitation.

Published 4th March, 2024


Related Studies

2) SsCox17, a copper chaperone, is required for pathogenic process and oxidative stress tolerance of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum.


3) CuZn and ZnO Nanoflowers as Nano-Fungicides against Botrytis cinerea and Sclerotinia sclerotiorum: Phytoprotection, Translocation, and Impact after Foliar Application.


4) Eco-friendly Mycogenic Synthesis of ZnO and CuO Nanoparticles for In Vitro Antibacterial, Antibiofilm, and Antifungal Applications.


5) Biosynthesis of silver nanoparticles employing Trichoderma harzianum with enzymatic stimulation for the control of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum.


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