Antifungal screening of selenium nanoparticles biosynthesized by microcystin-producing Desmonostoc alborizicum

BMC Biotechnol. 2023 Sep 27;23(1):41. doi: 10.1186/s12896-023-00807-4.


Metal nanoparticles exhibit excellent antifungal abilities and are seen as a good substitute for controlling different kinds of fungi. Of all known taxa, cyanobacteria have received significant consideration as nanobiofactories, as a result of the cellular assimilation of heavy metals from the environment. The cellular bioactive enzymes, polysaccharides and pigments can be used as reducers and coatings during biosynthesis. The probability of the antifungal activity of selenium nanoparticles (SeNPs) to prevent plant fungi that can affect humans was evaluated and a toxic Iranian cyanobacterial strain of Desmonostoc alborizicum was used to study the biotechnology of SeNP synthesis for the first time. Characterization of nanoparticles with a UV-Vis spectrophotometer showed the formation of SeNPs in the range of 271-275 nm with the appearance of an orange color. Morphological examination of nanoparticles with Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), revealed the spherical shape of nanoparticles. The results of X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) showed 7 peaks and a hexagonal structure of average crystal size equal to 58.8 nm. The dispersion index of SeNPs was reported as 0.635, which indicated the homogeneity of the nanoparticle droplet size. The zeta potential of the nanoparticles was + 22.7. Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis exhibited a sharp and intense peak located at the wave number of 404 cm- 1, related to the SeNPs synthesized in this research. The results of the antifungal activity of SeNPs showed among the investigated fungi, Pythium ultimum had the highest resistance to SeNPs (14.66 ± 0.52 µg/ml), while Alternaria alternata showed the highest sensitivity (9.66 ± 0.51 µg/ml) (p < 0.05). To the best of our knowledge this is the first report concerning the characterization and antifungal screening of SeNPs biosynthesized by Iranian cyanobacteria, which could be used as effective candidates in medical applications.

Keywords: Antifungal screening; Desmonostoc alborizicum strain 1387; Selenium nanoparticles; Toxic cyanobacterium.

MeSH terms

  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Iran
  • Metal Nanoparticles* / chemistry
  • Microcystins
  • Nanoparticles* / chemistry
  • Selenium* / chemistry
  • Selenium* / pharmacology


  • Selenium
  • Antifungal Agents
  • Microcystins