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.
A specialist in spacecraft movement control analyzed the process of placing vehicle stages, boosters, and other space debris into the so-called disposal orbit and suggested cleaning lower orbits up with a spacecraft that has modules with engine units on board. These modules will attach to space debris objects and move them away. As for the geostationary orbit, a preferable way to clean it up would be a towing spacecraft that transports space debris objects into the disposal orbit.
A biologist from RUDN University studied the development of the immune response in prepubertal male and female animals. According to her, the severity and mortality of infectious and inflammatory diseases at this age depend not on the sex hormones, but mainly on the chromosome set or karyotype.
October 6, the Nobel Committee announced the 2021 Nobel Prize Winners in Chemistry. They were scientists Benjamin List (Germany) and David Macmillan (USA) for new methods of molecular synthesis. RUDN chemists know Professor Liszt personally — in 2019, the researcher came to participate in the university conference.