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Application of natural products as new green agrochemicals with low average lifetime, low concentration doses, and safety is both complex and expensive due to chemical modification required to obtain desirable physicochemical properties. Transport, aqueous solubility, and bioavailability are some of the properties that have been improved using functionalized metal-organic frameworks based on zinc for the encapsulation of bioherbicides (ortho-disulfides). An in situ method has been applied to achieve encapsulation, which, in turn, led to an improvement in water solubility by more than 8 times after 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin HP-β-CD surface functionalization. High-resolution high-angle annular dark-field scanning transmission electron microscopy (HR HAADF-STEM) and integrated differential phase contrast (iDPC) imaging techniques were employed to verify the success of the encapsulation procedure and crystallinity of the sample. Inhibition studies on principal weeds that infect rice, corn, and potato crops gave results that exceed those obtained with the commercial herbicide Logran. This finding, along with a short synthesis period, i.e., 2 h at 25 °C, make the product an example of a new generation of natural-product-based herbicides with direct applications in agriculture.


Francisco J R Mejías, Susana Trasobares, Rosa M Varela, José M G Molinillo, José J Calvino, Francisco A Macías. One-Step Encapsulation of ortho-Disulfides in Functionalized Zinc MOF. Enabling Metal-Organic Frameworks in Agriculture. ACS applied materials & interfaces. 2021 Feb 24;13(7):7997-8005

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PMID: 33577306

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