Elucidating the Mode of Action of Hybrid Nanoparticles of Cu/Zn Against Copper-Tolerant Xanthomonas euvesicatoria

Phytopathology. 2024 Jun;114(6):1206-1214. doi: 10.1094/PHYTO-09-23-0339-R. Epub 2024 Jun 7.


The widespread presence of tolerance to copper in Xanthomonas species has resulted in the need to develop alternative approaches to control plant diseases caused by xanthomonads. In recent years, nanotechnological approaches have resulted in the identification of novel materials to control plant pathogens. With many metal-based nanomaterials having shown promise for disease control, an important question relates to the mode of action of these new materials. In this study, we used several approaches, such as scanning electron microscopy, propidium monoazide quantitative polymerase chain reaction, epifluorescence microscopy, and RNA sequencing to elucidate the mode of action of a Cu/Zn hybrid nanoparticle against copper-tolerant strains of Xanthomonas euvesicatoria. We demonstrate that Cu/Zn did not activate copper resistance genes (i.e., copA and copB) in the copper-tolerant bacterium but functioned by disrupting the bacterial cell structure and perturbing important biological processes such as cell respiration and chemical homeostasis.

Keywords: bacterial spot; mode-of-action; nanotechnology.

MeSH terms

  • Copper* / pharmacology
  • Metal Nanoparticles / chemistry
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry
  • Plant Diseases* / microbiology
  • Xanthomonas* / drug effects
  • Xanthomonas* / genetics
  • Zinc* / pharmacology


  • Copper
  • Zinc