Chitosan is the second most abundant bio-polymer available in the world, second only to cellulose. It is found in crustaceous shells, e.g., those of crabs, shrimps, prawns, and fungi, as well as insect exoskeletons. The use of nanoformulations for the management of pests and diseases is receiving increased interest with the advancement of nanotechnology. Here, chitosan nanospheres were obtained from chitosan using the ionic gelation technique. The nanoformulations obtained were characterized using a particle size analyzer, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and a transmission electron microscope. The efficacy of chitosan nanospheres in suppressing the root-knot nematode Meloidogyne incognita was studied. The particle size of nanospheres formulated for this study was 380.2 nm, with a polydispersity index (PI) of 0.4 and Zeta potential of 45.7 or 50.9 mV at pH 5.2. The chitosan nanospheres were spherical and the particles did not agglomerate. FTIR spectra of the chitosan nanospheres peaked at 3334 cm−1, thereby indicating the stretching of the OH and NH group. In In-vitro studies, chitosan nanospheres showed significant nematicidal activity against M. incognita. Under pot culture conditions, chitosan nanospheres (1%- active compound chitosan) at 2ml/plant decreased the nematode population in roots or soil. Compared to the control, the number of galls was reduced by 83.68%, the number of egg masses by 83.85%, the number of adult females by 66.56%, and the number of second-stage juveniles by 73.20%. In a field experiment, application of chitosan nanospheres (1%) was followed by a 18.75% increase in fruit yield compared to the non-treated control.

Publication timeframe:
Volume Open
Journal Subjects:
Life Sciences, other