Exogenous Application of Polycationic Nanobactericide on Tomato Plants Reduces the Candidatus Liberibacter Solanacearum Infection

García-Sánchez et al. (2021). Plants 10 (10)
Names (2)
Liberibacter “Liberibacter solanacearum”
Ecology Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics Plant Science
Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum (CaLso) is associated with diseases in tomato crops and transmitted by the tomato psyllid Bactericera cockerelli. A polymeric water-dispersible nanobactericide (PNB) was evaluated against CaLso as a different alternative. PNB is a well-defined polycationic diblock copolymer designed to permeate into the vascular system of plants. Its assessment under greenhouse conditions was carried out with tomato plants previously infected with CaLso. Using a concentration as low as 1.0 mg L−1, a small but significant reduction in the bacterial load was observed by real-time qPCR. Thus, to achieve an ecologically friendly dosage and set an optimum treatment protocol, we performed experiments to determine the effective concentration of PNB to reduce ~65% of the initial bacterial load. In a first bioassay, a 40- or 70-fold increase was used to reach that objective. At this concentration level, other bioassays were explored to determine the effect as a function of time. Surprisingly, a real reduction in the symptoms was observed after three weeks, and there was a significant decrease in the bacterial load level (~98%) compared to the untreated control plants. During this period, flowering and formation of tomato fruits were observed in plants treated with PNB.
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