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  • Plant-borne compounds and nanoparticles: challenges for medicine, parasitology and entomology
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Bio-fabrication of silver nanoparticles using the leaf extract of an ancient herbal medicine, dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), evaluation of their antioxidant, anticancer potential, and antimicrobial activity against phytopathogens


In recent years, the use of nanoparticle-based antimicrobials has been increased due to many advantages over conventional agrochemicals. This study investigates the utilization of common medicinal plant dandelion, Taraxacum officinale, for the synthesis of silver nanoparticles (TOL-AgNPs). AgNPs were evaluated for antimicrobial activity against two important phytopathogens, Xanthomonas axonopodis and Pseudomonas syringae. The morphology, size, and structure of TOL-AgNPs were characterized using UV-visible spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction (XRD). Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) showed the presence of phytochemicals involved during synthesis of NPs. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HR-TEM) analysis shed light on the size of monodispersed spherical AgNPs ranging between 5 and 30 nm, with an average particle size of about 15 nm. The TOL-AgNPs (at 20 μg/mL concentration) showed significant antibacterial activity with significant growth inhibition of phytopathogens X. axonopodis (22.0 ± 0.84 mm) and P. syringae (19.5 ± 0.66 mm). The synthesized AgNPs had higher antibacterial activity in comparison with commercial AgNPs. Synergistic assays with standard antibiotics revealed that nanoformulations with tetracycline showed better broad-spectrum efficiency to control phytopathogens. They also possessed significant antioxidant potential in terms of ABTS (IC50 = 45.6 μg/mL), DPPH (IC50 = 56.1 μg/mL), and NO (IC50 = 55.2 μg/mL) free radical scavenging activity. The TOL-AgNPs showed high cytotoxic effect against human liver cancer cells (HepG2). Overall, dandelion-mediated AgNPs synthesis can represent a novel approach to develop effective antimicrobial and anticancer drugs with a cheap and eco-friendly nature.

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This research was completely supported by Dongguk University-Seoul, South Korea under research fund 2016–2017. The authors are thankful to Prof. Shrikrishna D. Sartale, Department of Physics, Savitribai Phule Pune University, India, for availing HRTEM facility.

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Correspondence to Ganesh D. Saratale.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict interest.

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Responsible editor: Santiago V. Luis

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Saratale, R.G., Benelli, G., Kumar, G. et al. Bio-fabrication of silver nanoparticles using the leaf extract of an ancient herbal medicine, dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), evaluation of their antioxidant, anticancer potential, and antimicrobial activity against phytopathogens. Environ Sci Pollut Res 25, 10392–10406 (2018).

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  • Taraxacum officinale
  • Silver nanoparticles
  • Phytopathogens
  • Antibacterial activity
  • Liver cancer cells HepG2
  • Antioxidant activity