Nanoparticle-Based Plant Disease Management: Tools for Sustainable Agriculture

  • Anurag Yadav
  • Kusum Yadav
Part of the Nanotechnology in the Life Sciences book series (NALIS)


Plant diseases cause huge crop loss on a global scale and are the chief yield-limiting factor in agriculture. Due to greater utilization of land for agriculture and excessive use of fungicides and pesticides, resistant plant pathogens are spreading unprecedentedly and require an immediate check to corroborate food security. Based on need the newer crop protection technologies are emerging to ensure higher crop yield and are contributing in feeding the rapidly growing human population. Nanotechnology is one such novel technology with great potentials. From the last decade, nanotechnology as a technological science has grown to the extent that its presence can now be felt in the fields of automobiles, construction, cosmetics, electronics, and medicine. But, unlike medical nanotechnology, agriculture nanotechnology is one such technology whose potential in agriculture is yet to be fully explored. Nanotechnology deals with materials in the size range of 0.1–100 nm. Due to their minuscule size, such particles interact at an atomic or molecular level to form structures in the nanometer range. These very small particles, called nanoparticles (NPs), show properties very different from larger particles of the same element. NPs show phenomenon like Coulomb blockade, quantum nature, superparamagnetism, and surface plasmon resonance. They show surface effects due to higher surface atoms (Sharma et al Adv Colloid Interface Sci 145(1–2): 83–96, 2009) because the small size increases the surface area to volume ratio of particles (Prasad J Nanopart 2014:963961, 2014; Prasad et al. WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol 8:316–330, 2016; Prasad et al Front Microbiol 8:1014, 2017a). Due to variable surface compositions, NPs have different reactivities to processor like adsorption and redox reactions (Waychunas et al. J Nanopart Res 7(4): 409-433, 2005). NPs are made from materials like carbon nanotubes, magnetic particles, metals, metal oxides, polymers (synthetic and natural), and quantum dots. They can be a designed application specific to catalyze chemical reactions.

Based on NP type, the nanotechnological devices can detect pathogen quickly and cost-effectively with high accuracy. Besides, NPs can act against pathogens like chemical fungicides or pesticides or are used as carriers to deliver such agents. Because of their very small size, the targeted delivery of agents can be ensured inside the pathogen or pest at the cellular level. The targeted delivery can ensure lesser soil contamination due to xenobiotic agricultural chemicals. Besides this nanotechnological intervention can be used in fertilizer nanoformulations, understanding the mechanism of host-parasite interaction, food preservation, salt-affected land reclamation, reducing soil erosion, etc.


Nanoparticles Phytotoxicity Disease management Genotoxicity Nanodiagnostics Nanoformulations Agronanotechnology Crop protection 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anurag Yadav
    • 1
  • Kusum Yadav
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of MicrobiologyCollege of Basic Science & Humanities, S.D. Agricultural UniversityBanaskanthaIndia
  2. 2.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of LucknowLucknowIndia

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