Potato virus Y (PVY) is one of the most harmful phytopathogens. It causes big problems for potatoes and other important crops around the world. Nanoclays have been extensively studied for various biomedical applications. However, reports on their interactions with phytopathogens, particularly viral infections, are still limited. In this study, the protective activity of Egyptian nanoclay (CE) and standard nanoclay (CS) against PVY was evaluated on potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) plants. Their physicochemical and morphological properties were examined with scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and energy dispersive spectrometer (EDS). SEM and TEM analyses revealed that CE has a spherical and hexagonal structure ranging from 20 to 80 nm in size, while CS has boulder-like and tubular structures of about 320 nm in size. FTIR and EDS showed that both nanoclay types have different functional groups and contain many vital plant nutrients that are necessary for every stage and process of the plant, including development, productivity, and metabolism. Under greenhouse conditions, a 1% nanoclay foliar application enhanced potato growth, reduced disease symptoms, and reduced PVY accumulation levels compared with non-treated plants. Significant increases in levels of antioxidant enzymes (PPO and POX) and considerable decreases in oxidative stress markers (MDA and H2O2) were also reported. Moreover, a significant increase in the transcriptional levels of defense-related genes (PAL-1, PR-5, and CHI-2) was observed. All experiment and analysis results indicate that the CE type is more effective than the CS type against PVY infection. Based on these results, the foliar applications of nanoclay could be used to manage plant viral infections in a way that is both effective and environmentally friendly. To our knowledge, this is the first report of the antiviral activity of the foliar application of nanoclay against PVY infection.
|Publication status||Published - Oct 2022|