1Department of Plant Pathology, Faculty of Agriculture, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran.
2Seed and Plant Certification and Registration Institute, Karaj, Iran.
In vitro antifungal activity of silver nanoparticles, at concentrations of 6, 8, 10, 12, 14 and 16 ppm, was studied on five phytopathogenic fungi, and a biocontrol agent. Then effect of silver nanoparticle at 6 ppm (optimum concentration) was evaluated on Macrophomina phaseolina in greenhouse. For in vitro experiment, the fungal isolates were grown on potato dextrose agar medium amended with silver nanoparticles. Radial fungal growth was recorded after 1, 2, 3, 5 and 10 days and mycelial growth inhibition rates were calculated. The most sensitive fungus to nanoparticles was Pythium aphanidermatum, since all tested concentrations showed 100% inhibition during the 10 days of observation.The second most sensitive fungus was Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, since it was able to grow only at concentration of 6 ppm and M. phaseolina was the third in sensitivity since its growth was inhibited in all concentrations after three days. In greenhouse experiments, five treatments including no nanosilver-no pathogen (Negative control), no nanosilver +pathogen (Positive control), 6 ppm nanosilver– no pathogen, 6 ppm nanosilver +pathogen, Carboxin-Thiram (0.15%) +pathogen were compared. Four characters viz shoot and root fresh and dry weights were measured. Based on the greenhouse experimental results, treatments with nanosilver and fungicide gave higher yields than the positive control. The chemical control treatment had the highest measured parameters, while 6 ppm nanosilver +pathogen treatment had the same parameters as negative control. It may therefore be suggested to use nanosilver as a safer alternative to chemical fungicides for control of M. phaseolina.