In modern agriculture, nanotechnology has been at the forefront of agrochemical product innovation. For crop protection, researchers have turned to nano-zinc oxide (nano-ZnO) products that could potentially serve as an alternative to copper-based pesticides while mitigating micronutrient Zn deficiency. In this thesis, Zinkicide®, a nano-ZnO (4.5% Zn) based agriculture-grade product formulation has been investigated for their potential use as a broad-spectrum bactericide with systemic activity. Initial studies showed that Zinkicide® exhibits phytotoxicity to susceptible plants and experiences limited rainfastness. It is hypothesized that a suitable spray adjuvant will improve rainfastness and zinc absorption without compromising the antimicrobial efficacy. To test these hypotheses, the effect of three commercially available spray adjuvants – FitoFix®, Photon®, and AgriOil® – on Zinkicide®'s physico-chemical properties including wettability, zinc mobility and rainfastness were evaluated using citrus plants. Effects of adjuvant on Zinkicide® antimicrobial properties were also examined. Characterization results indicated that the composition of spray adjuvants has minimal effect on the deposition pattern (coffee ring effect) of Zinkicide® on glass and almost no effect on citrus leaf substrates. The wettability of Zinkicide® was slightly altered by the addition of adjuvants when tested on both substrates. FTIR data indicates that the adjuvants do not chemically interact with Zinkicide®. The effect of spray adjuvants on Zinkicide® antimicrobial properties were investigated using two model pathogens, Xanthamonas alfalfae and Pseudomonas syringae. The results suggest that the addition of adjuvants had no noticeable effect on the antimicrobial properties of Zinkicide®. The zinc in-planta mobility and rainfastness studies showed that the spray adjuvants have no observable effect on these properties. The above research findings could help advance Zinkicide® research in finding other potential adjuvant candidates in tank-mix settings.


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Graduation Date





Santra, Swadeshmukul


Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Graduate Studies


Nanoscience Technology Center

Degree Program



CFE0009889; DP0028422





Release Date

February 2029

Length of Campus-only Access

5 years

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Campus-only Access)

Restricted to the UCF community until February 2029; it will then be open access.