By means of XRD and FESEM analysis, it is established that copper nanoparticles with sizes less than 10 nm are formed during the chemical reduction, which form aggregates mainly with spherical shape. Presence of gelatin during the chemical reduction of copper induced formation of smaller size distribution nanoparticles than that of nanoparticles synthesized without gelatin and it can be related to formation of protective layer. Synthesized Cu nano-powders have sufficiently high activity against the Erwinia amylovora bacterium, and the bacterial growth inhibition depends on the Cu nanoparticles concentration. At a concentration of 5 mg / ml of Cu nanoparticles, the exciter growth inhibition zone reaches a maximum value within 72 hours and the lysis zone is 20 mm, and at a concentration of 1 mg / ml this value is 16 mm, which also indicates the significant antibacterial activity of this sample.




Copper is an essential micronutrient incorporated into many proteins and metalloenzymes, and plays a significant role in the health and nutrition of plants. Copper nanoparticles due to unique properties are more efficient than bulk copper particles in activity and functioning. Due to antimicrobial activity copper nanoparticles are finding new applications in agriculture, healthcare and industry. However there are growing concerns regarding the indiscriminate use of either copper or copper nanoparticles which can cause toxic effects to plants and other living organisms. We review here the biological synthesis of copper nanoparticle using plant extracts and microorganisms; antibacterial and antifungal activity of copper nanoparticles and the impact of copper nanoparticles on crops and pathogenic microorganisms.

Copper nanoparticles of various sizes ranging from 5 to 280 nm have been synthesized by using extracts prepared from Syzygium aromaticum, Tabernaemontana divaricate, Vitis vinifera, Aloe vera, Cassia alata, Centella asitica, Bifurcaria bifurcate, Gloriosa superba and Citrus medica. Biosynthesis of small spherical copper oxide nanoparticles ranging from 5 to 10 nm or with average size of 15 nm have been achieved by using leaf extract or latex produced by plants. Copper nanoparticles ranging from 5 to 295 nm have also been synthesized by using microorganisms both bacteria and fungi. Comparisons of microbial synthesized copper nanoparticles with those synthesized using plant extracts have shown that those synthesized by microorganisms had smaller dimension. Copper nanoparticles ranging in size from 5 to 50 nm were synthesized in about 80 % sample of microorganisms and about 70 % samples of plant extracts screened for synthesis.

Biologically-synthesized copper nanoparticles show good antibacterial and antifungal activity inhibiting the growth of pathogenic bacteria belonging to Gram positive and Gram negative genera, and plant pathogenic fungi. Growth inhibition has been seen in case Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis, Propionibacterium acnes, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Shigella flexneri, Proteus vulgaris and Salmonella typhimurium. Antifungal activity of copper nanoparticles against the pathogenic fungi Fusarium culmorum, Fusarium oxysporum, Fusarium graminearum and Phytophthora infestans has also been recorded. Copper nanoparticles at concentrations below 100 ppm have been reported to enhance germination and growth of some plants.



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