Synthesis and toxicological study of chitosan–pirul (Schinus molle L.) essential oil nanoparticles on Aspergillus flavus

Maribel Plascencia-Jatomea, Mario Onofre Cortez-Rocha, Francisco Rodríguez-Félix, Rosa Reyna Mouriño-Pérez, Jaime Lizardi-Mendoza, Reyna Isabel Sánchez-Maríñez, Ana Karenth López-Meneses*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


In recent years, the study of essential oils as antifungal alternatives and their encapsulation to increase their properties for greater effects has been tested. In this work, nanoparticles of chitosan–Schinus molle L. essential oil (CS-PEO-Np) with a size of 260 ± 31.1 nm were obtained by ionic gelation and evaluated in some growth phases of Aspergillus flavus, a toxigenic fungus. At a concentration of 250 μg/mL of CS-PEO-Np, the A. flavus mycelial growth was inhibited at 97.1% with respect to control, at 96 h of incubation; the germination and viability of spores were inhibited at 74.8 and 40%, respectively, after exposure to 500 μg/mL of these nanomaterials, at 12 h of incubation. The fluorescence images of stained spores with DAPI showed the affectations caused by nanoparticles in the cell membrane, vacuoles and vacuolar content, cell wall, and nucleic acids. For both nanoparticles, CS-Np and CS-PEO-Np, no mutagenic effect was observed in Salmonella Typhimurium; also, the phytotoxic assay showed low-to-moderate toxicity toward seeds, which was dependent on the nanoparticle’s concentration. The acute toxicity of CS-PEO-Np to A. salina nauplii was considered low in comparison to CS-Np (control), which indicates that the incorporation of Schinus molle essential oil into nanoparticles of chitosan is a strategy to reduce the toxicity commonly associated with nanostructured materials. The nanoparticulated systems of CS-PEO-Np represent an effective and non-toxic alternative for the control of toxigenic fungi such as A. flavus by delaying the initial growth stage.

Original languageEnglish
Article number133
JournalArchives of Microbiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2024.


  • Antifungal activity
  • Confocal microscopy
  • Morphological analysis
  • Mycotoxigenic fungi
  • Spore viability
  • Toxicological tests


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