Seed World

Researchers Discover New Weapon to Fight Plant-Killing Fungus

University of Florida plant pathologist G. Shad Ali has found an economical and eco-friendly way to combat the plant destroyer known as phytophthora before it attacks the leaves and roots of everything from tomato plants to oak trees.
Ali and a team of researchers with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, along with the University of Central Florida and the New Jersey Institute of Technology, have found that silver nanoparticles produced with an extract of wormwood, a herb with strong antioxidant properties, can stop several strains of the deadly fungus.
“The silver nanoparticles are extremely effective in eliminating the fungus in all stages of its life cycle,” Ali said. “In addition, it has no adverse effects on plant growth.”
Phytophthora is a big threat to Florida’s $15 billion a year ornamental horticulture industry.
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