Green synthesis of silver nanoparticles using transgenic <i>Nicotiana tabacum</i> callus culture expressing silicatein gene from marine sponge <i>Latrunculia oparinae</i>

<p>In the present investigation, transgenic tobacco callus cultures and plants overexpressing the silicatein gene <i>LoSilA1</i> from marine sponge <i>Latrunculia oparinae</i> were obtained and their bioreduction behaviour for the synthesis of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) was studied. Synthesized nanoparticles were characterized using UV–visible spectroscopy, Fourier transformed infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), atomic flame electron microscopy (AFM) and nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA). Our measurements showed that the reduction of silver nitrate produced spherical AgNPs with diameters in the range of 12–80 nm. The results of XRD analysis proved the crystal nature of the obtained AgNPs. FTIR analysis indicated that particles are reduced and stabilized in solution by the capping agent, which is likely to be proteins present in the callus extract. Interestingly, the reduction potential of <i>LoSiLA1</i>-transgenic callus line was increased three-fold compared with the empty vector-transformed calli. The synthesized AgNPs were found to exhibit strong antibacterial activity against <i>Escherichia coli</i> and <i>Agrobacterium rhizogenes</i>. The present study reports the first evidence for using genetic engineering for activation of the reduction potential of plant cells for synthesis of biocidal AgNPs.</p>