Use of silver nanoparticles to counter fungicide-resistance in Monilinia fructicola

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

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29 Scopus citations


The potential of Ag-NPs to suppress Monilia fructicola isolates and to broaden the effectiveness of fungicides to overcome resistance was tested in vitro and in vivo. Twenty-three M. fructicola isolates were subjected to fungitoxicity screening with a number of fungicides in vitro, which resulted in the detection of 18 isolates resistant to benzimidazoles (BEN-R) thiophanare methyl (TM) and carbendazim (CARB). DNA sequencing revealed the E198A resistance mutation in the β-tubulin gene, target site of the benzimidazole fungicides in all resistant isolates. Ag-NPs effectively suppressed mycelial growth in both sensitive (BEN[sbnd]S) and resistant isolates. The combination of Ag-NPs with TM led to a significantly enhanced fungitoxic effect compared to the individual treatments regardless resistant phenotype (BEN-R/S) both in vitro and when applied on apple fruit. The above observed additive/synergistic action is probably associated with an enhanced Ag-NPs activity/availability as indicated by the positive correlation between Ag-NPs and TM + Ag-NPs treatments. No correlation was found between AgNO3 and Ag-NPs suggesting that difference(s) exist in the fungitoxic mechanism of action between nanoparticles and their ionic counterparts. Synergy observed between Ag-NPs and the oxidative phosphorylation-uncoupler fluazinam (FM) against both resistance phenotypes indicates a possible role of energy (ATP) metabolism in the mode of action of Ag-NPs. Additionally, the role of released silver ions on the fungitoxic action of Ag-NPs against M. fructicola was found to be limited because the combination with NaCl revealed a synergistic rather than the antagonistic effect that would be expected from silver ion binding with chlorine ions. The results of this study suggested that Ag-NPs can be effectively used against M. fructicola and when used in combination with conventional fungicides they could provide the means for countering benzimidazole resistance and at the same time reduce the environmental impact of synthetic fungicides by reducing doses needed for the control of the pathogen.

Original languageBritish English
Article number141287
JournalScience of the Total Environment
StatePublished - 10 Dec 2020


  • Ag-NPs
  • Benzimidazoles
  • Nanofungicides
  • Plant pathogens
  • Synergism


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