Rapid biosynthesis and characterization of silver nanoparticles: an assessment of antibacterial and antimycotic activity
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Bioassisted synthesis provides a facile, convenient, and promising approach to produce many inorganic nanostructures. Herein, we report a rapid biosynthesis of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) using Thuja occidentalis (L.) leaf extract with an emphasis on their antibacterial and antimycotic activity. Interestingly, the synthesis of AgNPs was completed in a short duration of 35–40 min. The electron micrographs showed AgNPs with particles < 30 nm in size. A diffusive absorption band around 430 nm confirmed the polydispersive nature of biosynthesized AgNPs. An additional absorption peak at 256 nm suggested the presence of biomolecules in the reaction mixture in addition to AgNPs. The different bands corresponding to ring compounds, amines, and carbonyl groups in the FT-IR spectra of biosynthesized AgNPs confirmed the presence of terpenes and terpenoids on AgNP surface post-reduction. The encapsulation and stabilization of AgNPs by organic layer was visible from the TEM images. Thus, these organic compounds present in the extract were responsible for first the reduction of precursor salts into AgNPs and second to drape around the particles preventing agglomeration. The AgNPs were effective against strains of Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas putida, and Bacillus subtilis. An AgNP solution with 30 µg/ml concentration arrested the growth of bacterial strains making a zone of inhibition > 15 mm. The antimycotic activity against Aspergillus niger, Fusarium spp., and Alternaria alternata species increased monotonically with nanoparticle concentration in the growth media. A 10 ppm solution of AgNP was detrimental to fungal growth. Thus, the technique provides an avenue to synthesize antibiotic AgNPs without use of other external agents.
P. Velraj thanks IAS for summer research fellowship. The facilities provided by UGC-UPE Program, DST-PURSE, and UGC-DRS-II Botany, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, India are also acknowledged.
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