PGSB Research Cluster Meeting – Nanoparticles in agriculture and in disease management

PGSB Research Cluster Meeting – Nanoparticles in agriculture and in disease management

25 August, 2020

A virtual meeting via Videoconference between German – Palestinian researchers was held on 17 August 2020 for Nanoscience research cluster, the meeting was attended by:

  • Dr. Agnes Csiszar, Institute of biological information processing: IBI-2, FZJ
  • Dr. Rana Samara, Horticulture and Agriculture Extension, PTUK
  • Dr. Sabrina Disch Department of Chemistry, Cologne University
  • Dr. Asmaa Qdemat, Department of Physical Chemistry,  Cologne University
  • Dr. Sami Makharza, Pharmacy Department , at Hebron University
  • Dr. Yousef Najajreh, Anticancer Drugs Research Lab, Al Quds University

With participation of 

  • Dr. Tawfiq Qubbaj, Faculty of Agriculture & Veterinary Medicine, An-Najah University. 
  • Dr. Thorston Auth, Institute of Complex System at FZJ

The research cluster, aims the establishment of a connecting Palestinian and German scientists in the project  "Applications of nanoparticles in agriculture and in disease management", The main goal of this project is to replace synthetic pesticides in crop protection using different alternative methods. Either local indigenous microbial pesticides (entomopathogenic fungi, bacteria and viruses) or indigenous essential oils and plant extracts are proposed against insect and plant diseases. Moreover, these methods might also be applied to control animal and human-related diseases. 

They suppose that the new NPs will enhance the efficacy of the bio-agents due to higher surface area, sustained controlled release, induced systemic activity, and lower eco-toxicity due to higher solubility in water.

Dr. Rana Samara will be mainly the leader of the project in Palestine, and they agreed on the following points: 

  • Fabrication of inexpensive nanoparticles safe to the environment at FZJ
  • Optimizing their physicochemical properties (size, porosity, surface charge, chemical activity, etc) at FZJ
  • Loading of NP with bio-agents such as fungi or their metabolites and testing of the system will be carried out at  PTUK labs. 

The duration of the project is at least 4 years, and the Palestinian researchers will prepare the road map of the project , that is mainly necessary to engage PhD students and a postdoc for this research project.