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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fort Pierce, Florida » U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory » Citrus and Other Subtropical Products Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #382814

Research Project: Integrated Strategies for Managing Pests and Nutrients in Vegetable and Ornamental Production Systems

Location: Citrus and Other Subtropical Products Research

Title: Inactivated plant viruses as an agrochemical delivery platform

Author
item CHARIOU, PAUL - University Of California
item MA, YIFEN - University Of California
item Hensley, Michael
item Rosskopf, Erin
item Hong, Jason
item CHARUDATTAN, RAGHAVAN - Bioproducts, Inc
item STEINMETZ, NICOLE - University Of California

Submitted to: ACS Agricultural Science and Technology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/20/2021
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Nanoparticle-based pesticide delivery systems have emerged to decrease the environmental and health impacts of pesticides while increasing their efficacy. The majority of nanopesticides in the developmental pipeline are synthetic materials and these present their own set of environmental risks. As an alternative, we proposed the development of naturally occurring nanomaterials, namely plant viruses for the delivery of pesticides. It has been previously shown that plant virus-based nanoparticles have favorable soil mobility properties and thus could offer new avenues to deliver pesticides to target root-feeding pests. However, it is imperative to develop methods for safe deployment of plant viruses in the environment. Therefore, to avoid plant infection, we investigated viral inactivation methods to render a plant virus non-infectious toward plants. Several methods were tested for inactivation of the virus, with UV treatment being the most consistent and least expensive method. The development of a safe nanoparticle direct delivery method of this nature has the potential to more directly apply pesticides, reducing total active ingredient used as well as limiting non-target effects.

Technical Abstract: Nanoparticle-based pesticide delivery systems have emerged to decrease the environmental and health impact of pesticides while increasing their efficacy. The majority of nanopesticides in the developmental pipeline are synthetic materials and these present their own set of environmental risks. As an alternative, we proposed the development of naturally occurring nanomaterials, namely plant viruses based on Tobacco mild green mosaic virus (TMGMV) for the delivery of pesticides. It has been previously shown that plant virus-based nanoparticles have favorable soil mobility properties and thus could offer new avenues to deliver pesticides to target root-feeding pests. However, it is imperative to develop methods for safe deployment of plant viruses in the environment. Therefore, to avoid plant infection, we investigated viral inactivation methods to render TMGMV non-infectious toward plants. TMGMV was treated with UV light, ß-propiolactone (ßPL), or formalin; dose-escalation studies were performed and infectivity or lack thereof was assessed using three plant host species. Successful inactivation of TMGMV was accomplished using 10 J cm-2 of UV light, 1.5 M ßPL, or 1 M formalin, laying the foundation for the development of eco-friendly, non-infectious viral pesticide nanocarriers that could be applied to crops.