Metal micronutrients get to the root of antifungal defence

Written by Richard Massey for Chemistry World

Flavoursome tomato varieties could benefit from nanoparticle fertilisers.

heirloom tomato

Tasty heirloom tomato varieties could soon see a return to our plates thanks to the promising antifungal properties of metal oxide nanoparticle fertilisers developed by US scientists.

Centuries of plant breeding mean we’ve grown accustomed to a narrow range of crops bred primarily for their disease resistance. But while we reap the benefits of greater yields and reliability, we’re missing out on a host of different flavours from less disease-hardy varieties.

Now a nanoparticle crop treatment developed by Wade Elmer and Jason White at Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, US, could give older tomato varieties – more susceptible to root pathogens such as wilt fungus – a helping hand. Applying copper and manganese oxide nanoparticles to the leaves of tomato plants grown in soil infected with the Verticillium wilt fungus increased fruit yields by up to 33% compared with untreated plants.

Read the full article in Chemistry World.

Wade H. Elmer and Jason C. White
Environ. Sci.: Nano, 2016, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C6EN00146G, Paper
Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)