RUDN University chemist created substances that stimulate plant growth
Compounds with a ferrocenylalkyl moiety in the molecules are valuable for their biological activity. Derivatives of ferrocene stimulate plant growth, and can also act as antidotes for herbicides, which is important for the environment. Until now, ferrocenyl alkylation (i.e. the reaction of insertion of organic groups into ferrocenyl fragment) was carried out only in acidic medium, usually using quaternary ammonium salts. However, this method is not used widely because of limited scope of compounds which could be synthesized this way.
RUDN University chemist Alexandr Smol’yakov in collaboration with colleagues from INEOS RAS, MIREA, All‐Russian Research Institute of Phytopathology and Kurchatov Institute proved that it is possible to synthesize plant growth regulators by the insertion of heterocyclic azole fragments into ferrocene. For the first time, chemists performed a one‐pot α-ferrocenyl alkylation using acid-sensitive substrates (e.g., imidazole derivatives) in a neutral medium.
The treated corn seeds were then held for 7 more days at a temperature of 25 degrees Celsius. After that, the lengths of the sprouts and roots of these seeds were compared with those in the group of seeds that were germinated with distilled water, and another group that was exposed to herbicidal solution.
It turned out that the corn seeds treated with the compounds obtained during the research, produced sprouts with sizes 37-67% longer than those that did not undergo the treatment.
The obtained ferrocene derivatives of biomolecules are characterised by stability and low toxicity. Therefore, they can be widely used in agriculture. In particular, the compounds are effective as protection against a widely used herbicide from Zinger. The chemists have developed a technique for the creation of an environmentally friendly, low-toxic, and inexpensive preparation that increases crop productivity.
RUDN University biologist studied the aggressive impact of environmental factors (water, salts, and ozone) on ultrathin nanofibers of biopolymers. The results will help choosing suitable bioplastic depending on the use; for example, for medical implants, biodegradable packaging or filters for water cleaning.
RUDN University mathematicians built a model of COVID-19 spreading based on two regression models. The mathematicians divided the countries into three groups, depending on the spreading rate and on the climatic conditions, and found a suitable mathematical approximation for each of them. Based on the model, the mathematicians predicted the subsequent waves. The forecast was accurate in countries where mass vaccination was not introduced.
Soil scientists from RUDN University confirmed that traditional approaches to monitoring of urban soil pollution ignore actual risks for urban residents because they don’t take into consideration the barrier function of the soil. The team used Moscow as an example to show that not only polluted downtown districts but also recreational parks and forest zones can pose a threat to people. This is due to the fact that the barrier functions of the soil are weaker in green suburbs, making it unable to withstand even the slightest pollution.