Plant-mediated synthesis of nanoparticles exhibits great potential to minimize the generation of chemical waste through the utilization of non-toxic precursors. In this research work, we report the synthesis of magnesium oxide (MgO) and cobalt oxide (Co3O4) nanoparticles through a green approach using Manilkara zapota leaves extract, their surface modification by polyaniline (PANI), and antifungal properties against Aspergillus niger. Textural and structural characterization of modified and unmodified metal oxide nanoparticles were evaluated using FT-IR, SEM, and XRD. The optimal conditions for inhibition of Aspergillus niger were achieved by varying nanoparticles' concentration and time exposure. Results demonstrate that PANI/MgO nanoparticles were superior in function relative to PANI/Co3O4 nanoparticles to control the growth rate of Aspergillus niger at optimal conditions (time exposure of 72 h and nanoparticles concentration of 24 mM). A percentage decrease of 73.2% and 65.1% in fungal growth was observed using PANI/MgO and PANI/Co3O4 nanoparticles, respectively, which was higher than the unmodified metal oxide nanoparticles (67.5% and 63.2%).
Keywords: Aspergillus niger; Manilkara zapota leaves extract; PANI; green synthesis; nanoparticles.