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Nanomaterials in Agricultural Research: An Overview

  • Deepa Garg
  • Devendra K. Payasi
Chapter
Part of the Environmental Chemistry for a Sustainable World book series (ECSW, volume 27)

Abstract

New emerging technologies are often applied to improve the yield and quality of crops. Recent advancement in science and technology in the field of agricultural research has led to create unique properties targeted toward specific application in crop improvement. Nano-agriculture involves the employment of nanoparticles in agriculture. The emergence of nanotechnology and the development of nanodevices and nanomaterials can boost agricultural production by enhanced reactivity due to enhanced solubility, greater proportion of surface atoms relative to the interior of structure, unique magnetic/optical properties, electronic states, and catalytic reactivity that differ from equivalent bulk materials. These materials would release pesticides or fertilizers at a specific time and targeted location. Nanoparticles tagged to agrochemicals or other substances could reduce the damage to other plant tissues and the amount of chemical released into the environment. Between 1961 and 1999, global production outstripped population growth, but this was achieved partly through a 12% increase in the global area of cropland and a 10% increase in the area of permanent posture. During the same period, the overall productivity grew to 106%; however, this was linked to a 97% rise in the area of land under irrigation and 638%, 203%, and 854% increases, respectively, in the use of nitrogenous and phosphate fertilizers and production of pesticides. The situation could be gauged from data for the irrigated farming regions of the country, where the return of grain yield per kilogram of nutrient use was reduced from 13.4 kg in 1970 to 3.7 kg in 2015. The positive morphological effects of nanomaterials include enhanced germination percent and rate, whole plant architecture including root and shoot length and their ratio, biomass of seedlings, and harvest index of the plants. Application of nanomaterials in agricultural research holds the promise of controlled release of agrochemicals and site-targeted delivery of various useful macromolecules needed for improved plant disease resistance, efficient utilization of nutrients, and enhanced plant growth.

Keywords

Agriculture Nanomaterials Nanoparticles Nanosensor Smart delivery system 

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Deepa Garg
    • 1
  • Devendra K. Payasi
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BiotechnologyKurukshetra UniversityKurukshetraIndia
  2. 2.Jawaharlal Nehru Krishi Vishwa Vidyalaya, Regional Agricultural Research StationSagarIndia

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