Role of Nanomaterials in the Mitigation of Abiotic Stress in Plants

  • Sanjay Singh
  • Azamal Husen


Nanotechnology opens up a wide array of opportunities in various fields including agriculture. Many of those living in developing countries are faced with daily food shortage as a result of adverse environmental impacts such as global warming, drought, floods, extreme climatic conditions, salinity, and loss of soil fertility. Global warming or heat stress, which is often accompanied by drought stress, is a significant factor influencing the sustainable growth and production of crop plants. On the other hand, loss of fluidity of membrane in plant cells and leakage of solutes are the distinct effects of cold stress. Salinity stress reduces the ability of plants to take up water and nutrients apart from causing nutritional imbalance which inhibits growth and yield. Flooding of fields often produces toxic compounds and gases which may kill crop plants. Almost all abiotic stresses enhance the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) which damage the cellular membranes, proteins, and nucleic acids that are vital to plant survival, growth, and yield. This situation makes it imperative to develop an improved and sustainable farming technology and also cultivars resistant to all these hazards in order to address food-security issues effectively. In view of this, various nanomaterials are now being used as a vital tool for improving growth and productivity of crops facing abiotic stresses. Nanoparticles possess high surface energy and a high surface/volume ratio, which enhance their bioavailability and bioactivity in comparison to their standard or bulk forms. They easily penetrate into plant cells, are readily taken up by plants, and then influence the key events of plants’ life cycle such as seed germination, seedling growth, root formation, photosynthesis, flowering, and yield. However, in addition to their beneficial effects on plant system under abiotic stress, NPs have also been shown to be toxic to plants. This chapter is focused on the modern strategies adopted for mitigation of abiotic stress in plants by using the potential nanomaterials in order to maximize the crop yield.


Crop plants Ecotoxicology Environmental stress Oxidative stress Reactive oxygen species Sustainable agriculture 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sanjay Singh
    • 1
  • Azamal Husen
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Plant ScienceCollege of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mizan-Tepi UniversityMizanEthiopia
  2. 2.Department of BiologyCollege of Natural and Computational Sciences, University of GondarGondarEthiopia

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