Nanoscale Micronutrients Suppress Disease

Nanotechnology has experienced exponential growth in the past decade, revolutionizing multiple industries and showing immense market potential. With a projected market value of $3 trillion by 2020, nanotechnology has impacted diverse sectors, including healthcare, electronics, cosmetics, and agriculture. Nanotechnology in agriculture holds great promise for improving food production, food security, and food safety worldwide. This review provides an overview of the applications of nanotechnology in agriculture, focusing on nanofertilizers, nanopesticides, and nanosensors for soil quality and plant health monitoring. Using nanomaterials in agriculture aims to enhance the efficiency and sustainability of agricultural practices by reducing input requirements and minimizing waste. Patent applications for nanopesticides alone exceeded 3,000 in 2011. Various nanomaterial-based products have been developed, as listed in Table 1. These approaches aim to improve crop yield by suppressing crop diseases and potentially providing essential micronutrients necessary for host defense. Nanoscale amendments, including metals, metal oxides, and carbon-based materials, have shown potential for disease suppression and yield enhancement. Moreover, plant nutrition plays a crucial role in disease resistance, with micronutrients activating defense enzymes and maintaining plant health. However, challenges exist in ensuring sufficient nutrient availability in slightly acidic to neutral soils and improving the translocation of micronutrients within plants. Elements such as aluminium (Al) and silicon (Si) have shown potential for disease control and activating defense mechanisms, but their limited availability and translocation within plants limit their efficacy. Nanomaterials offer new possibilities by enhancing nutrient availability and translocation. Nanoscale micronutrient formulations can provide targeted and effective nutrition-based manipulation of host resistance, enhancing disease suppression and crop productivity. The synthesis of nanomaterials is a critical aspect of nanotechnology. Nanomaterials exhibit unique properties influenced by their morphology, such as size, shape, and crystalline phase. Various chemical and physical methods have been developed for their synthesis, with titanium dioxide (TiO2) being the most produced nanomaterial. Advancements in nanomaterial synthesis continue to drive the field forward, offering new opportunities for tailored applications in agriculture.
Nanoparticles, Micronutrients, Plant nutrition
Servin, A., W. Elmer, A. Mukherjee, R. De La Torre-Roche, H. Hamdi, J.C. White and C. Dimkpa Nanoscale Micronutrients Suppress Disease. VFRC Report 2015/2. Virtual Fertilizer Research Center, Washington, D.C. 33 pp.; 4 tables; 1 figs.; 118 ref