Manufactured nanoparticles (NPs) are increasingly being used for commercial purposes and certain NP types have been shown to have broad spectrum antibacterial activity. In contrast, their activities against fungi and fungi-like oomycetes are less studied. Here, we examined the potential of two types of commercially available Zn NPs (Zn NPs and ZnO NPs) to inhibit spore germination and infectivity on tobacco leaves resulting from exposure to the fungi-like oomycete pathogen Peronospora tabacina (P. tabacina). Both types of NPs, as well as ZnCl2 and bulk ZnO control treatments, inhibited spore germination compared to a blank control. ZnO ENMs were shown to be a much more powerful suppressor of spore germination and infectivity than bulk ZnO. ZnO and Zn NPs significantly inhibited leaf infection at 8 and 10 mg·L−1, respectively. Both types of NPs were found to provide substantially higher concentration dependent inhibition of spore germination and infectivity than could be readily explained by the presence of dissolved Zn. These results suggest that both NP types have potential for use as economic, low-dose, potentially non-persistent anti-microbial agents against the oomycete P. tabacina.

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Published in Nanomaterials, v. 6, issue 3, 50, p. 1-10.

© 2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons by Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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