Nature Nanotechnology, Vol.15, No.12, 1033-U75, 2020
Advanced material modulation of nutritional and phytohormone status alleviates damage from soybean sudden death syndrome
Customized Cu-3(PO4)(2)and CuO nanosheets and commercial CuO nanoparticles were investigated for micronutrient delivery and suppression of soybean sudden death syndrome. An ab initio thermodynamics approach modelled how material morphology and matrix effects control the nutrient release. Infection reduced the biomass and photosynthesis by 70.3 and 60%, respectively; the foliar application of nanoscale Cu reversed this damage. Disease-induced changes in the antioxidant enzyme activity and fatty acid profile were also alleviated by Cu amendment. The transcription of two dozen defence- and health-related genes correlates a nanoscale Cu-enhanced innate disease response to reduced pathogenicity and increased growth. Cu-based nanosheets exhibited a greater disease suppression than that of CuO nanoparticles due to a greater leaf surface affinity and Cu dissolution, as determined computationally and experimentally. The findings highlight the importance and tunability of nanomaterial properties, such as morphology, composition and dissolution. The early seedling foliar application of nanoscale Cu to modulate nutrition and enhance immunity offers a great potential for sustainable agriculture. Foliar application of different forms of nanoscale copper to plant seedlings induces material-specific biochemical and molecular changes in root tissue that stimulate plant defence against soybean sudden death syndrome.