New spray protects plants from bacteria

26. 1. 2021 -

Researchers from Mendel University in Brno have developed a special spray that protects plants against harmful bacteria. Products of this type are practically not available on the market, and if they already are, their effectiveness is much lower. The university will patent the spray, and a commercial partner is also in negotiations to help put the know-how into practice.

The spray is a mixture of silver and copper nanoparticles and graphene oxide. The composite prepared in this way protects the plants against harmful bacteria. The research of chemists from Mendel University in Brno lasted ten years. "Antibiotic resistance threatens us all, so we are looking for a completely new way of protection against bacterial infections at all levels, including agricultural practice," said the head of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry MENDELU Vojtěch Adam. According to Adam, the new spray is 10,000 to 20,000 times better than the products currently available.

According to scientists, the application of spray has a great effect on the suppression of damage to plants, and its consumption is an order of magnitude lower than with comparable plant protection products. Besides, preparations for protection against bacterial diseases are practically unavailable compared to veterinary or human medicine. "The benefit for the practice is not only in reducing the number of chemicals applied to growing areas but especially in the ability to protect plants against diseases that have been difficult to control so far," said Robert Pokluda, head of the Department of Vegetable and Floriculture.

Testing was performed on tomatoes and peppers. Part of the plants was artificially infected with bacterial spots and subsequently treated with the product. After a few weeks, the researchers evaluated the test and the result was visible to the naked eye. "Untreated plants were severely damaged, while there were no signs of infestation on the sprayed ones," Pokluda said.

Contact for more information: prof. Ing. Robert Pokluda, Ph.D., Head of the Department of Vegetable and Floriculture MENDELU, robert.pokluda@mendelu.cz, tel.: 605 405 295, Head of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry AF MENDELU, prof. RNDr. Vojtech Adam, Ph.D., vojtech.adam@mendelu.cz.