Characterisation and antifungal activity of silver nanoparticles biologically synthesised by Amaranthus retroflexus leaf extract

Following the emergence of resistant fungal pathogens, silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) biosynthesized by plants have been recognized as promising tools to combat parasitic fungi. This study evaluated the potency of Amaranthus retroflexus in producing AgNPs, followed by testing their antifungal effects. The AgNPs exhibited a maximum absorption at 430 nm through ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy, while the X-ray diffraction indicated that they were crystal in nature. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy confirmed the conversion of Ag+ ions to AgNPs due to the reduction by capping material of plant extract. The transmission electron microscope analysis further revealed that the AgNPs were spherical ranging from 10 nm to 32 nm in size. The AgNPs at the concentrations of 50, 100, 200, and 400 μg/mL were applied to the growth of plant, mushroom, and human pathogenic fungi. The 50% minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC50) against Macrophomina phaseolina, Alternaria alternata and Fusarium oxysporum were observed to be 159.80 ± 14.49, 337.09 ± 19.72, and 328.05 ± 13.29 μg/mL, respectively. However, no considerable inhibition was observed regarding Trichoderma harzianum or Geotrichum candidum. These findings may suggest A. retroflexus as a green solution for biosynthesizing AgNPs with potent antifungal activities against plant pathogenic fungi.