[Unpad.ac.id, 7/12/2016] Nanotechnology may play a role in disease control in plants. The Research is being conducted by Professor in the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Padjadjaran, Prof. Dr. Ir. Hj. Hersanti, M.P., through Leaderships Academic Grant (ALG), Padjadjaran University since 2015.
In her research, Prof. Hersanti combined nanoparticles with microbial antagonists (microbes that can suppress the pathogen of plants). Prof. Hersanti is more focused on research on potato, considering the plant is vulnerable to attack by pathogens. At the time, potato varieties resistant to various diseases have not yet been cultivated.
“Potato has more problems compared with another crop. Meanwhile potato is also one of horticulture commodities with high economic value and much in demand by the public,” said Prof. Hersanti.
Currently, disease control in potato crops mainly uses fungicides. Besides harmful to people when consumed, the use of fungicides also can cause resistance to the plant causing infectivity in the control of plant diseases. The use of fungicides is also believed to be harmful to water and the surrounding soil.
“Not only will it poison human body, but also the microbes present on the land,” said women born in Jakarta, March 3, 1963.
In previous studies, several species of antagonistic microbes believed to promote plant growth and suppress pathogens have been discovered. Prof. Hersanti then formulated some potentially antagonistic microbes with nano particles to enhance the performance of microbial antagonists, which also can be used as fertilizer for crops. It is a challenge for Prof. Hersanti and her team, given that many previous studies showed that nano particles could be deadly against microbes antagonist.
“We are examining nano particles that are not toxic to microbial antagonists and also have a positive effect on plant growth,” said Prof. Hersanti.
The mixture of nanoparticles with antagonistic microbes formulated by Prof. Hersanti is in solution form. This formula is used to soak the potatoes seeds, so that the plants are protected from pathogens. By immersion is also expected antagonistic microbes can induce plant resistance to pathogens.
“Essentially, we want to give treatment to our plants as early as possible to, so they will already protected during planting in the field,” explained Prof. Hersanti.
Although it has not been applied to potato plants directly, laboratory tests showed that the antagonistic microbes mixed with nano particles inhibit the growth of bacteria Ralstonia solanacearum in vitro.
“In inhabitation, the pathogen does not develop,” said Prof. Hersanti.
In the third year of ALG research, it is planned to have vivo studies to test on potato plants. Prof. Hersanti admitted that they would require a long and continuous research in order to obtain a precise formulation of nano particles as carrier material antagonistic microbes to protect plants from pests and pathogens. *
Reported by Artanti Hendriyana / eh