Fusarium oxysporum (F. oxysporum) is linked to the widespread fusarium wilt in plants affecting the quality and yield of food crops. Management of fusarium wilt by synthetic fertilizers poses safety concerns. Safer-by-design nanomaterials synthesized with a greener approach can meet the needs of commercial antifungal drug resistance. Herein, a simple aqueous reduction method has been adopted for the synthesis of anisotropic gold nanostars (AuNSs) using quercetin-para aminobenzoic acid (QPABA) as both a reducing and stabilizing agent at room temperature for the treatment of F. oxysporum. QPABA was used to control the growth of Au3+ star-shaped nanoparticles at increasing concentrations in the ratio of 2 : 1 (QPABA : Au3+ ions) respectively. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis of the as-prepared gold nanoparticles confirmed the formation of nanostars with sizes of 40 ± 2 nm. The formation of anisotropic gold nanoparticles was evaluated by UV-vis characterizations which showed longitudinal surface plasmon modes at 540 and 800 nm. The gold nanoparticles exhibit excellent antifungal activity against F. oxysporum with the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 100 μg mL−1 using an agar well-diffusion assay. AuNSs proved to be efficacious in controlling F. oxysporum, as shown in the SEM analysis with a disintegrated cell membrane upon treatment. Computational analysis was performed to determine the specific binding sites on the QPABA ligand for gold ion interactions using the DFT B3LYP method, with a 6-31+G(d) basis set. Results showed that the interaction between Au3+ and QPABA at the 4 and 3 positions yielded the highest stability and formation of gold nanostars. The results suggest that the synthesized AuNSs act as a promising antifungal agent with great potential in treating frequent fungal infections that affect agricultural production.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Chemistry
- General Chemical Engineering