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Delivery of Pesticides to Plant Parasitic Nematodes Using Tobacco Mild Green Mosaic Virus as a Nanocarrier

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journal contribution
posted on 2017-03-27, 14:22 authored by Paul L. Chariou, Nicole F. Steinmetz
Plant parasitic nematodes are a major burden to the global agricultural industry, causing a $157 billion loss each year in crop production worldwide. Effective treatment requires large doses of nematicides to be applied, putting the environment and human health at risk. Challenges are to treat nematodes that are located deep within the soil, feeding on the roots of plants. To attack the problem at its roots, we propose the use of tobacco mild green mosaic virus (TMGMV), an EPA-approved herbicide as a carrier to deliver nematicides. TMGMV self-assembles into a 300 × 18 nm soft matter nanorod with a 4 nm-wide hollow channel. This plant virus is comprised of 2130 identical coat protein subunits, each of which displays solvent-exposed carboxylate groups from Glu/Asp as well as Tyr side chains, enabling the functionalization of the carrier with cargo. We report (1) the successful formulation and characterization of TMGMV loaded with ∼1500 copies of the anthelmintic drug crystal violet (CV), (2) the bioavailability and treatment efficacy of CVTMGMV vs CV to nematodes in liquid cultures, and (3) the superior soil mobility of CVTMGMV compared to free CV.

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