Nematicidal Effects of Silver Nanoparticles on Root-knot Nematode in Bermudagrass.

W. A. Cromwell, Joopil Yang, J. L. Starr, Young-Ki Jo


Certain nematodes are common soilborne organisms found in turfgrass in the United States that cause significant economic damage to golf course turf. One of the most prevalent plant-parasitic nematodes infesting turfgrass are root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.). Chemical treatment options for root-knot nematodes in turfgrass are limited, and there is a need for new nematicidal active ingredients to address this problem. In this study, we evaluated the use of silver nanoparticles (AgNP) as a potential nematicide in laboratory and field experiments. AgNP was synthesized by a redox reaction of silver nitrate with sodium borohydride using 0.2% starch as a stabilizer. When J2 of M. incognita were exposed to AgNP in water at 30 to 150 μg/ml, >99% nematodes became inactive in 6 hr. When turfgrass and soil composite samples infested with M. graminis were treated with 150 μg/ml AgNP, J2 were reduced in the soil samples by 92% and 82% after 4- and 2-d exposures, respectively, in the treated compared to the nontreated soil samples. Field trials evaluating AgNP were conducted on a bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon × C. transvaalensis) putting green infested with M. graminis. Biweekly application of 90.4 mg/m2 of AgNP improved turfgrass quality in one year and reduced gall formation in the roots in two years without phytotoxicity. The AgNP application did not significantly reduce the number of M. graminis J2 in plots during the growing season. The laboratory assays attested to the nematicidal effect of AgNP, and the field evaluation demonstrated its benefits for mitigating damage caused by root-knot nematode in bermudagrass.

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