Stimuli-Free Transcuticular Delivery of Zn Microelement Using Biopolymeric Nanovehicles: Experimental, Theoretical, and in Planta Studies

Yael Cohen, Hagai Yasuor, Dmitry Tworowski, Elazar Fallik, Elena Poverenov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper reports one-step synthesis of polysaccharide-based nanovehicles, capable of transporting ionic zinc via plant cuticle without auxiliary stimulation. Delivery of highly hydrophilic nutritive microelements via the hydrophobic cuticle of plant foliage is one of the major challenges in modern agriculture. In traditional nutrition via roots, up to 80% of microelements permeate to soil and get wasted; therefore, foliar treatment is an environmentally and economically preferable alternative. Carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) was modified to amphiphilic N-octylamide-derivative (CMC-8), which spontaneously self-assemble to nanovehicles. It was found that hydrophobic substituents endow a biopolymer with unexpected affinity toward a hydrophilic payload. CMC-8 nanovehicles effectively encapsulated ionic zinc (ZnSO4) and delivered it upon foliar application to pepper (Capsicum annuum) and tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) plants. Zinc uptake and translocation in plants were monitored by SEM-EDS and fluorescence microscopic methods. In planta monitoring of the carrier was done by labeling nanovehicles with fluorescent carbon dots. Three-dimensional (3-D) structural modeling and conformational dynamics explained the CMC-8 self-assembly mechanism and zinc coordination phenomenon upon introduction of hydrophobic substituents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19446-19456
Number of pages11
JournalACS Nano
Volume15
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 28 Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Chemical Society.

Keywords

  • 3-D structural modeling
  • carboxymethyl cellulose
  • delivery
  • foliar nutrition
  • microelements
  • polysaccharide nanovehicles
  • zinc

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