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Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B
Vol. 140, 2017, Pages: 24-29

Bacillus thuringiensis coated zinc oxide nanoparticle and its biopesticidal effects on the pulse beetle, Callosobruchus maculatus

Balasubramanian Malaikozhundan,Baskaralingam Vaseeharan,Sekar Vijayakumar, Merlin P.Thangaraj

Nanobiosciences and Nanopharmacology Division, Biomaterials and Biotechnology in Animal Health Lab, Department of Animal Health and Management, Alagappa University, Science Campus 6th Floor, Karaikudi 630 004, Tamil Nadu, India.


Insect pests belonging to the genus Callosobruchus are the major cause of damage to stored pulse crops. Recently, nanotechnology has emerged as a promising tool for pest control. In the present study, we report for the first time the synthesis and biological evaluation of Bacillus thuringiensis coated zinc oxide nanoparticles (Bt-ZnO NPs) on the pulse beetle, Callosobruchus maculatus. The biologically synthesized Bt-ZnO NPs were extensively characterized using UV–Vis spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and Zeta potential. The bio-physical characterization revealed that the Bt-ZnO NPs has a hexagonal wurtzite structures with an average particle size of 20 nm. In addition, zeta potential measurement demonstrated that the Bt-ZnO NPs are negatively charged (− 12.7 mV) and are moderately stable. The biopesticidal effect of Bt-ZnO NPs was tested against the pulse beetle, C. maculatus. Treatment with Bt-ZnO NPs reduced the fecundity (eggs laid) and hatchability of C. maculatus in a dose-dependent manner. A significant delay in the larval, pupal and total development period of C. maculatus was observed after treatment with Bt-ZnO NPs at 25 μg/mL. Furthermore, Bt-ZnO NPs are highly effective in the control of C. maculatus and caused 100% mortality at 25 μg/mL. The LC50 value was estimated to be 10.71 μg/mL. In addition, treatment with Bt-ZnO NPs decreased the mid-gut α-amylase, cysteine protease, α-glucosidase and glutathione S-transferase (GST) activity in C. maculatus. Our results suggest that Bt-ZnO NPs are effective against C. maculatus and could be used as nanobiopesticides in the control of stored grain insect pests in the future.

Graphical abstract

Keywords: Bacillus thuringiensis, Zinc oxide, nanoparticle, Biopesticides, Callosobruchus maculatus.

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