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Nanostructured liquid crystalline particle assisted delivery of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid to weeds, crops and model plants
journal contributionposted on 2016-04-01, 00:00 authored by Pavani Nadiminti, Jim RookesJim Rookes, Y D Dong, C Sayer, B J Boyd, David CahillDavid Cahill
Routine agricultural practices are heavily dependent on the use of surfactants, many of which are toxic to humans and detrimental to the environment. In proof of concept work we have previously shown the potential of nanostructured liquid crystalline particles (NLCP) to safely interact with plant leaf cuticular surfaces with minimal impact on epicuticular waxes. Here we demonstrate the use of NLCP to effectively deliver the auxin herbicide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) to plant leaves in laboratory and field studies. In the laboratory, the physiological stress responses of lupin, Lupinus angustifolius (L.) (Fabaceae) towards NLCP spray applications were shown to be much reduced in comparison with application of two common surfactants. Phytotoxicity assays of 2,4-D loaded NLCP were used to validate the herbicidal effects on Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynth. (Brassicaceae) and established a similarity with that of surfactant assisted 2,4-D delivery when tested at a concentration of 0.1%. Field trials were conducted to test the efficacy of NLCP-assisted delivery of 2,4-D in comparison with commercial surfactants for the control of the invasive weed wild radish, Raphanus raphanistrum (L.) (Brassicaceae), in wheat, Triticum aestivum (L.) (Poaceae) crop fields. Compared against Estercide 800, a commercially available 2,4-D formulation, NLCP assisted delivery of 2,4-D was effective at low concentrations of 0.03% and 0.06%. The crop yield remained similar for all the tested concentrations and formulations of 2,4-D loaded NLCP and Estercide 800. This is the first report to directly show that, as an alternative to conventional methods, NLCP can be used under both laboratory and field conditions to successfully delivery an agrochemical.