Delivery of Apoplastic Extracellular Vesicles Encapsulating Green-Synthesized Silver Nanoparticles to Treat Citrus Canker

Isha Gaurav, Abhimanyu Thakur*, Gaurav Kumar, Qin Long, Kui Zhang, Rakesh Kumar Sidu, Sudha Thakur, Rajesh Kumar Sarkar, Anoop Kumar, Ashok Iyaswamy*, Zhijun Yang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The citrus canker pathogen Xanthomonas axonopodis has caused severe damage to citrus crops worldwide, resulting in significant economic losses for the citrus industry. To address this, a green synthesis method was used to develop silver nanoparticles with the leaf extract of Phyllanthus niruri (GS-AgNP-LEPN). This method replaces the need for toxic reagents, as the LEPN acts as a reducing and capping agent. To further enhance their effectiveness, the GS-AgNP-LEPN were encapsulated in extracellular vesicles (EVs), nanovesicles with a diameter of approximately 30–1000 nm naturally released from different sources, including plant and mammalian cells, and found in the apoplastic fluid (APF) of leaves. When compared to a regular antibiotic (ampicillin), the delivery of APF-EV-GS-AgNP-LEPN and GS-AgNP-LEPN to X. axonopodis pv. was shown to have more significant antimicrobial activity. Our analysis showed the presence of phyllanthin and nirurinetin in the LEPN and found evidence that both could be responsible for antimicrobial activity against X. axonopodis pv. Ferredoxin-NADP+ reductase (FAD-FNR) and the effector protein XopAI play a crucial role in the survival and virulence of X. axonopodis pv. Our molecular docking studies showed that nirurinetin could bind to FAD-FNR and XopAI with high binding energies (−10.32 kcal/mol and −6.13 kcal/mol, respectively) as compared to phyllanthin (−6.42 kcal/mol and −2.93 kcal/mol, respectively), which was also supported by the western blot experiment. We conclude that (a) the hybrid of APF-EV and GS-NP could be an effective treatment for citrus canker, and (b) it works via the nirurinetin-dependent inhibition of FAD-FNR and XopAI in X. axonopodis pv.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1306
Number of pages22
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • citrus canker
  • drug delivery
  • green synthesis
  • silver nanoparticles
  • Phyllanthus niruri
  • antimicrobial activity
  • Xanthomonas axonopodis
  • nirurinetin


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