UoH researchers use Nanotechnology to boost plant immunity

: Researchers at the University of Hyderabad (UoH) have used Nanotechnology to boost plant immunity by developing an 'innovative' approach to use bio-active protein called harpin, taken from a phyto pathogenic bacterium, which is biodegradable.

"They have developed a new nanotechnology tool to increase bioavailability and efficiency, reducing the quantity of the harpin required to boost immunity, and enhanced penetrability of protein to easily access the site-of-action, a UoH press release said here.

A research team led by UoH Vice-Chancellor Prof Appa Rao Podile, faculty in the Department of Plant Sciences, School of Life Sciences, used a nanotechnology-based approach to deliver bioactive harpin to the right location in plants to induce immunity.

Poor assimilation of harpin is a major constraint in foliar application as biopesticide, the release said.

Prof Podile and his group prepared harpin-loaded chitosan nanoparticles (H-CSNPs) to improve permeability and bio-availability of harpin in tomato.

H-CSNPs showed high encapsulation efficiency, improved stability and bioavailability of harpin, it said.

A major constraint in utilising harpin as bio-pesticide is poor bioavailability to the plant cell on foliar application. Due to the unique architecture of leaves, only a few harpin molecules could interact with the putative receptors.Therefore a large amount of harpin is required for spray-application.

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