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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2019, Vol. 18 Issue (11): 2534-2548    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(19)62634-1
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Physicochemical properties and release characteristics of calcium alginate microspheres loaded with Trichoderma viride spores
Slaven Jurić1, Edyta Đermić2, Snježana Topolovec-Pintarić2, Marta Bedek1, Marko Vinceković1
1 Department of Chemistry, University of Zagreb Faculty of Agriculture, Zagreb 10000, Croatia
2 Department of Plant Pathology, University of Zagreb Faculty of Agriculture, Zagreb 10000, Croatia
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Novel agroformulations for simultaneous delivery of chemical and biologically active agents to the plants were prepared by encapsulation of Trichoderma viride spores in calcium alginate microspheres.  The impact of calcium ions concentration on the viability and sporulation of T. viride spores as well as on the microsphere important physicochemical properties were investigated.  Intermolecular interactions in microspheres are complex including mainly hydrogen bonds and electrostatic interactions. T. viride germination inside matrix and germ tubes penetration out of microspheres revealed calcium alginate microspheres provide a supportive environment for T. viride growth.  Differences in physicochemical properties and bioactive agents release behaviour from microspheres were ascribed to the changes in microsphere structure.  Fitting to Korsmeyer-Peppas empirical model revealed the underlying T. viride release mechanism as anomalous transport kinetics (a combination of two diffusion mechanisms and the Type II transport (polymer swelling and relaxation of the polymeric matrix)).  The increasing amount of T. viride spores in the surrounding medium is closely related to the release from microspheres and germination.  The rate controlling mechanism of calcium release is Fickian diffusion.  A decrease in the release rate with increasing calcium ion concentrations is in accordance with the calcium ions effect on the strength of the alginate network structure.  T. viride germination inside microsphere diminished the amount of released calcium ions and slowed release kinetics in comparison with microspheres prepared without T. viride.  The results indicated investigated agroformulations have a great potential to be used for plant protection and nutrition.
Keywords:  agroformulations        alginate microspheres        calcium ions        Trichoderma viride        sustainability  
Received: 25 September 2018   Accepted:
Fund: This research was funded by the Croatian Science Foundation, Croatia (UIP-2014-501 09-6462).
Corresponding Authors:  Correspondence Marko Vinceković, E-mail:   

Cite this article: 

Slaven Jurić,Edyta Đermić,Snježana Topolovec-Pintarić, Marta Bedek,Marko Vinceković. 2019. Physicochemical properties and release characteristics of calcium alginate microspheres loaded with Trichoderma viride spores. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 18(11): 2534-2548.

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