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Oral: Emerging Nano Materials for Disease Management and Insights from Findings in Nano-based Diagnostics


Metal oxide nano materials for management of Verticillium wilt on eggplant and Fusarium wilt on watermelon.
W. ELMER (1), J. White (1) (1) The Connecticut Agricultural experiment Station, U.S.A.

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Micronutrients in plants play important roles in protecting against disease and stress. We hypothesized that nanoparticle (NP) of certain metal oxides applied foliarly may allow a slow release of ions and/or NP into the phloem for transport to disease-susceptible root tissues. Greenhouse studies compared bulked oxide equivalents to NP of Cu, Mn, and Zn for their effect on Verticillium wilt of eggplant and Fusarium wilt of watermelon. Plant weights were highest on plants treated with NP of CuO. Eggplant root diggestions and analysis revealed that Cu levels were highest in plants treated with NP of CuO when compared to the bulked Cu equivalent or to untreated plants. Watermelon roots were did not differ in Cu levels. Field studies were conducted with eggplants in soil naturally infested with Verticillium dahliae in 2013 and 2014. Eggplant transplants were foliarly treated once with NP of CuO, MnO, and ZnO or their bulked equivalents (1000 ppm) and set into the field plots. Only NP of Cu increased the plant canopy and increased yield when compared to controls. Studies in 2015 with increasing rate of CuO NP found 500 ppm was optimal. Watermelon field plots were treated with NP CuO, bulked CuO, Kocide 2000, or Cu octanoate. Plots that received NP of CuO produced more yield that any other treatment. These findings suggest the unique size of NP of CuO may favor their entry into the plants where they might affect defense mechanisms.