Synergy between Cu-NPs and fungicides against Botrytis cinerea

Anastasios A. Malandrakis, Nektarios Kavroulakis, Constantinos V. Chrysikopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Combating drug-resistance is a daunting task, especially due to the shortage of available drug alternatives with multisite modes of action. In this study, the potential of copper nanoparticles (Cu-NPs) to suppress 15 Botrytis cinerea isolates, which are sensitive or resistant to fungicides, alone or in combination with conventional fungicides, was tested in vitro and in vivo. Sensitivity screening in vitro revealed two fungicide resistance phenotypes, resulting from target site mutations. DNA sequencing revealed three B. cinerea isolates highly resistant to benzimidazoles (BEN-R), thiophanare methyl (TM), and carbendazim, bearing the E198A resistance mutation in the β-tubulin gene, and four isolates highly resistant to the QoI pyraclostrobin (PYR-R) with a G143A mutation in the cytb gene. Cu-NPs were equally effective against sensitive and resistant isolates. An additive/synergistic effect was observed between Cu-NPs and TM in the case of BEN-S isolates both in vitro and when applied in apple fruit. A positive correlation was observed between TM and TM + Cu-NPs treatments, suggesting that an increased TM availability in the target site could be related with the observed additive/synergistic action. No correlation between Cu(OH)2 and Cu-NPs sensitivity was found, indicating that different mechanisms govern the fungitoxic activity between nano and bulk counterparts. A synergistic profile was observed between Cu-NPs and fluazinam (FM) - an oxidative phosphorylation inhibitor - in all isolates regardless of resistance phenotype, suggesting that ATP metabolism could be involved in the mode of action of Cu-NPs. Furthermore, the observed cross sensitivity and antagonistic action between Cu-NPs and NaCl also provided evidence for copper ions contribution to the fungitoxic action of Cu-NPs. The results suggested that Cu-NPs in combination with conventional fungicides can provide the means for an environmentally safe, sustainable resistance management strategy by reducing fungicide use and combating resistance against B. cinerea.

Original languageBritish English
Article number135557
JournalScience of the Total Environment
StatePublished - 10 Feb 2020


  • Benzimidazoles
  • CuNPs
  • Nanofungicides
  • Plant pathogens
  • QoIs
  • Synergism


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