Biopolymer to heal plant wounds: a collaboration between ICMAB and CRAG
- News 23 February 2018 504 hits
Bacterial cellulose biopolymer
Wounds in plants can be caused by several agents like weather events (hail, wind…), predators (herbivores, insects) or humans (pruning, grafting), among others.
Regardless of their origin, wounds are a breach of the outer protective layers of a plant giving open access to many microbial pathogens that cause severe diseases.
The teams lead by Dr. Anna Laromaine at the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC) and by Dr. Núria Sánchez-Coll at the Center for Research in Agricultural Genomics (CRAG) have developed a method for accelerating the healing of these wounds, which is based on the use of a bacterial cellulose polymer.
Bacterial cellulose is a very efficient wound healing material, currently being used in medicine due to its high biocompatibility. The researchers have observed a similar regenerating effect on plants according to studies carried out in different species. The application of the material on the wounds plants improves the formation of new cellular layers and shortens the healing process (in 48 hours or less).
An advantage of this polymer is that its molecular structure is identical to the plant molecular structure. Also, its chemical purity is high. Besides, anti-pathogenic nanoparticles can be added to its structure. The polymer has high porosity, high water absorption capacity and transparency in the UV-NIR.
Figure: Two wounds in a leaf of Nicotiana Benthamiana. The wound on the right was treated with the bacterial cellulose based biopolymer. The pictures were taken 48 hours after.
This article was published in R+D CSIC (22 Feb 2018)
Llavor Grant to support innovative projects
Dr. Anna Laromaine received on July 2017 a Llavor grant from the the Catalan Government consisting of 20,000 € for her PLANT HEALING project. The Llavor grants are given to support researchers' innovative projects with potential to be incorporated into the market.
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