Abstract: Background Abelmoschus esculentus (L.) Moench, an economically important malvaceous vegetable crop popularly known as okra, is used in various culinary preparations and is rich in vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. The biological properties of okra flowers in relation to nanoparticle synthesis have not yet been reported. Materials and methods In the current study, silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) were synthesized using extracts of the flowers of A. esculentus. The characteristics of the AgNPs were studied using a UV-vis spectrometer, Fourier transmission infrared spectrophotometer (FTIR), X-ray diffractometer (XRD), scanning electron microscope (SEM), transmission electron microscope (TEM) and energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer (EDX). Antibacterial activity screening was performed using the agar well diffusion method, and cytotoxicity and cell viability studies were conducted using a 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. Results The synthesized AgNPs were spherical and ranged in size from 5.52 to 31.96 nm, with an average size of 16.19 nm, as determined by UV-vis spectroscopy, FTIR, XRD, TEM and EDX. A. esculentus flower extract-mediated silver nanoparticles (AME-AgNPs) exhibited excellent activities in vitro studies, particularly in vitro cytotoxic and antiproliferative studies against cancer cell lines, such as the TERT-4 and A-549 cell lines. The antibacterial effects on the Gram-positive pathogens Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, and Streptococcus pyogenes and the Gram-negative pathogens Klebsiella pneumoniae, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Proteus vulgaris, Salmonella typhimurium and Shigella sonnei were tested. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) values varied with the bacterial strain. The IC50 values of the synthesized NPs for the tested cell lines were close to that of a standard drug. Conclusion Compared to other NPs the NPs synthesized in this study were smaller in size and exhibited a higher level of antibacterial activity, cytotoxicity and apoptosis at minimal concentrations, and this is the first study on okra flower-induced anticancer and antimicrobial activities.
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