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Synergistic effects of silver nanoparticles augmented Calothrix elenkinii for enhanced biocontrol efficacy against Alternaria blight challenged tomato plants

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Abstract

The biocontrol efficacy of a cyanobacterium Calothrix elenkinii (Ce), silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) and their augmented complex (AgNPs-Ce) was evaluated. Foliar application of AgNPs-Ce reduced the disease severity by 47–58%, along with significant increases of 44–45%, 40–46% and 23–33% in leaf chlorophyll, carotenoid content, and polyphenol oxidase activity in the A. alternata infected tomato plants. A significant reduction in the pathogen load was recorded, both by plate counts and microscopic observations in the AgNPs, Ce and AgNPs-Ce treatments, while AgNPs-Ce also effectively reduced ergosterol content by 63–79%. Amplification using PCR-ITS primers revealed very faint bands or none in the AgNPs-Ce treated leaves, illustrating the inhibition of fungal growth. Significantly higher yield was recorded in the pathogen challenged plants receiving AgNPs-Ce, AgNPs, and Ce treatments. Higher expression of elicited antioxidant enzymes, along with enhanced plant growth attributes and lowered fungal load highlight the biocontrol potential of AgNPs-Ce treatment in A. alternata infected plants. This synergistic association can be explored as a promising biocontrol option against A. alternata challenged tomato plants under various agroclimatic conditions.

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Acknowledgements

The study was supported by the UGC-DAE Consortium for Scientific Research, University Grants Commission who provided fellowship and the Post Graduate School, ICAR-IARI, who provided the facilities towards the fulfilment of Ph.D. program. The study was also partly funded by the AMAAS Network Project on Microorganisms, granted by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi, to RP. We thank the Central Research Facility, IIT, Delhi for helping with the ICP analyses of our samples. We are thankful to the Division of Microbiology, National Phytotron Facility, Division of Plant Pathology, Division of Agricultural Chemicals and Division of Nematology, ICAR-IARI, New Delhi, for providing necessary facilities for undertaking this study.

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All the authors have gone through the final manuscript and agree to its contents and its publication.

Correspondence to Radha Prasanna.

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Mahawar, H., Prasanna, R., Gogoi, R. et al. Synergistic effects of silver nanoparticles augmented Calothrix elenkinii for enhanced biocontrol efficacy against Alternaria blight challenged tomato plants. 3 Biotech 10, 102 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13205-020-2074-0

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Keywords

  • Alternaria blight
  • Biocontrol
  • Cyanobacterium
  • Nanoparticles
  • Tomato