Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 102, Issue 16, pp 6799–6814 | Cite as

Role of plant phytochemicals and microbial enzymes in biosynthesis of metallic nanoparticles

  • Muhammad OvaisEmail author
  • Ali Talha Khalil
  • Nazar Ul Islam
  • Irshad Ahmad
  • Muhamamd Ayaz
  • Muthupandian Saravanan
  • Zabta Khan Shinwari
  • Sudip MukherjeeEmail author


Metal-based nanoparticles have gained tremendous popularity because of their interesting physical, biological, optical, and magnetic properties. These nanoparticles can be synthesized using a variety of different physical, chemical, and biological techniques. The biological means are largely preferred as it provides an environmentally benign, green, and cost-effective route for the biosynthesis of nanoparticles. These bioresources can act as a scaffold, thereby playing the role of reducing as well as capping agents in the biosynthesis of nanoparticles. Medicinal plants tend to have a complex phytochemical constituent such as alcohols, phenols, terpenes, alkaloids, saponins, and proteins, while microbes have key enzymes which can act as reducing as well as stabilizing agent for NP synthesis. However, the mechanism of biosynthesis is still highly debatable. Herein, the present review is directed to give an updated comprehensive overview towards the mechanistic aspects in the biosynthesis of nanoparticles via plants and microbes. Various biosynthetic pathways of secondary metabolites in plants and key enzyme production in microbes have been discussed in detail, along with the underlying mechanisms for biogenic NP synthesis.


Biosynthesis Metallic nanoparticles (MNPs) Phytonanotechnology Phytochemicals Microbial synthesis Green synthesis 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with animals or human participants performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Biological SciencesQuaid-i-Azam UniversityIslamabadPakistan
  2. 2.Key Laboratory for Biomedical Effects of Nanomaterials and Nanosafety, CAS Center for Excellence in NanoscienceNational Center for Nanoscience and TechnologyBeijingChina
  3. 3.Department of Eastern Medicine and SurgeryQarshi UniversityLahorePakistan
  4. 4.Department of PharmacySarhad University of Science and Information TechnologyPeshawarPakistan
  5. 5.Department of Life sciencesKing Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM)DhahranSaudi Arabia
  6. 6.Department of PharmacyUniversity of MalakandChakdaraPakistan
  7. 7.Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, College of Health SciencesMekelle UniversityMekelleEthiopia
  8. 8.Pakistan Academy of Sciences (PAS)IslamabadPakistan
  9. 9.Department of BioengineeringRice UniversityHoustonUSA

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