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Application of Nanotechnology in Agriculture with special reference to Pest Management.
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Senior seminar- Nanotechnology in Agriculture

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Senior seminar- Nanotechnology in Agriculture

  1. 1. MEKELLE UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF DRYLAND AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES DCHS The Roles of Nanotechnology in Agriculture: A Review. By: Etany Solomon Coordinator: Kiros Meles (PhD) Senior Seminar Two
  2. 2. 1.0 Introduction
  3. 3. 1.2 Background…  For example, 35-40% of the crop productivity depends upon fertilizer use.  Pest control has also become a necessity…  However, excessive and inappropriate use of fertilizers and pesticides;  increased nutrients and toxins in ground and surface waters  incurring health and water purification costs  decreasing fishery and recreational opportunities  led to degraded soil quality  eutrophication of aquatic habitats  Costs of irrigation, and energy costs to maintain productivity on degraded soils  killing beneficial organisms  Groundwater levels have also gone down due to constant irrigation.
  4. 4. 1.2 Background… • To remediate this, there is need to adopt more "smart" ways of improving soils and pest control. • To ensure use of small dozes of chemicals to give a big impact. • This could be achieved through Nanotechnology • Nanotechnology hold a potential for creating new and effective materials with enhanced properties.
  5. 5. 1.3 Objectives • To review different research findings on the role of Nanotechnology in Agriculture Focus on crop production
  6. 6. 1.4 Methodology This review was done by ; reviewing several published articles, Grey source, reports, conference proceedings, abstracts.
  7. 7. 2.0 Nanotechnology What is it? • The term 'Nanotechnology' was first defined by Taniguchi of the Tokyo Science University in 1974. • Nanotechnology is a term originating from the prefix 'nano', a greek word that means 'dwarf‘ • Nanotechnology therefore refers to the creation and utilization of materials, devices and systems through the control of their properties and structure at a nanomatric scale (Raliya et al., 2013).
  8. 8. 2.1 Nanoscale • 'Nano', a Greek word that means 'dwarf‘ • The word 'nano' is used to refer to 10-9 or a billionth part of one meter. • It is generally used for materials of size between 1 and 100 nm • They are also referred to as Nanoparticles • In Nanotechnology, a particle is a small object that behaves as a unit with respect to its transport and properties (Bhattacharyya et al., 2010)
  9. 9. 2.1 Nanoscale… Source: Kumari (n.d)
  10. 10. 2.3 Methods of Nanoparticle production Source: Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering (2004)
  11. 11. 2.3 Methods… Top-down method Bottom-up method Source: Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering (2004)
  12. 12. 2.4 Applications of Nanotechnology Medicine  Cancer treatment  Bone treatment  Drug delivery  Appetite control  Diagnostic tests  Drug development, e.t.c… Energy More efficient tech. for energy pdn.  Solar cells  Fuel cells  Batteries, etc… Information technology  Faster and more efficient computer based systems Foods and beverages  Advanced packaging materials  Sensors  Lab-on-chips for food quality testing Textiles  Stain proof  Water proof  Wrinkle free textiles Household and cosmetics  Scratch free products  Paints  Cosmetics, e.g. whitening and bleaching products
  13. 13. 3.0 Nanotechnology in Agriculture • Due to the new challenges in agriculture, there has been a growing interest in using nanotechnology. Goals of applying nanotechnology in Agriculture • Increase crop production and yield • Increase resource use efficiency Specific applications include;  Nanogenetic manipulation of crops  Agricultural Diagnostics, Drug Delivery and Nanotechnology  Controlled release of nano-fertilizers and nano-complexes  Nano-Biosensors  Nano pesticides and Nanoherbicides  Nano-Bio farming
  14. 14. 3.0 Application… 3.1 Nanogenetic manipulation of agricultural crops • Manipulation genes of crops by use of nanoparticles, nanofibers and nanocapsules. • Nanoparticles could carry a number of genes and substances that triggers gene expression in plants. • DNA of seeds could be arranged to obtain plant x-tics like color, growth and yield by use of automatic engineering. • nanofiber arrays with the potential of drug delivery can be used for quick and efficient delivery of genetic materials to plant cells. • Today, DNA is being delivered into intact plant cells by use of gene guns or particle bombardment.
  15. 15. Application… 3.2 Agricultural Diagnostics and Drug Delivery • Carriers that provide for chemical detection and decision taking ability for self-regulation. • Accurate delivery of drugs, nutrients or other agrochemicals required for the plants. • Control of plant diseases, e.g. carbon, silver, silica and aluminoussilicate nanomaterials. • Carbon nano-fibers can be used to strengthen natural fibers, e.g. in coconuts and sisal. • Silver NPs extend the pot-life of cut gerbera flowers.
  16. 16. Application… 3.3 Controlled release of nano-fertilizers and nano complexes • Nanomaterials control the slow and effective release of the right doses of plant nutrients. • This makes the fertilizer nutrients more available to the nanoscale plant pores. • The application of TiO2 was reported to increase yields by up to 30% by promoting growth, photosynthetic rate, and reduced disease severity. • Appn. of TiO2 with aluminium and silica, showed effectiveness in controlling downy and powdery mildew of grapes (Bowen et al., 1992),
  17. 17. Application… 3.4 Nano-Biosensors • These are nano sensors with bio receptor probes, which are selective for target analyte molecules. • Its application includes the detection of analytes such as urea, glucose and pesticides. • It also include the monitoring of metabolites and various pathogen detection. • It also detects crop harvesting time, crop health and microbial or chemical contamination. • Nano-sensors also give accurate soil moisture updates at the root zone and soil temperature (Shweta and Pragya, 2014). • It detects soil diseases caused by soil microbes (such as bacteria, fungi and viruses).
  18. 18. • A “smart” way to release plant nutrients gradually and in a controlled manner. • Reduces the quantity of fertilizer use, controlling eutrophication and pollution of water resources. • Unique features of nano-fertilizers include ultrahigh absorption rate, increased production, photosynthesis and significant leaf SA expansion. • Maize treated with TiO2 nanoparticles showed significant growth compared to its bulk treatment.
  19. 19. Nano-fertilizers… Effects on crop production • Nano-urea increased grain yield by 10.2 % and agronomic efficiency of nitrogen fertilizer 44.5 % than normal urea (Huang et al., 2015). • Conventional urea are only 58.3-87.6 % of those of the nanometer urea. • The application of nano-urea can save up to 12.4-41.7 % of nitrogen application to the soil (Huang et al., 2015). • 70 % nitrogen nano fertilization treatment yielded 11.6 % higher than that of the conventional fertilization (Zhang et al. 2010). • Nano-synergistic fertilizer also increased the rice yield by 10.3 %, spring maize by 10.9–16.7 %, soybean by 28.8 %, and also increased the soybean oil content of 13.2 % (Liu et al. 2009).
  20. 20. Nano-fertilizers… Contents Pure water (control) Nano-863 Nanoceramic Nanonet Nanopiece Tillers (no./hill) 10.31 10.88 11.75 11.38 10.81 Tiller increment % - 5.5 14.0 10.4 4.9 Table 1: Number of rice tiller after treated with different nano biological assistant growth apparatus Source: Huang et al., 2015
  21. 21. Nano-fertilizers… Fertilization Rate Yield increase 60% 4.4-10% 70% 9.5-21.1% 100% 4.7-15.8% Table 2: The effect of nano-synergistic fertilizer on yield increase in Rice. Source: Zhang et al. (2012)
  22. 22. 5.0 Nanopesticides • Pests the most important limiting factors to crop yields and need to be effectively controlled below the threshold level. • Traditional pest control involves the use large quantities of pesticides, resulting in environmental pollution and additional cost of production (Sharon et al., 2010). • Dilution of the pesticides with the nano-treated water could greatly improve their efficiency. • This could also reduce the quantity of chemicals used. • According to Gao (Huang et al., 2015), nano-pesticides are three fold more efficient than the conventional pesticides in controlling pests . • It also reduces the cost by half of the conventional pesticides
  23. 23. Nanopesticides… Contents Conventional biopesticide Nano-biopesticide Active ingredients content 40% 18% Dilution ratio of pesticide 800 1500 Control efficiency (average) 56% 98% Table 3: Effects of nano-biopesticide in controlling pests Source: Huang et al. (2015).
  24. 24. Nanopesticides… Treatments Concentration (mg/kg) Efficiency of control (%) Alternaria solani Fusarium oxysporum Botrytis cinerea 50 % carbendazim 1250 36.67E 50.00D 92.50A 75 % chlorothaloni l 1250 53.33C 62.00B 92.50A Nano-CuO 750 80.00A 84.00A 5.00B 500 71.67B 56.00C 5.00B 250 46.67D 12.00E 0.00C Sterile water (control) None 0.00 F 0.00 F 0.00C Table 4: Antibacterial effect of nano CuO and other fungicides on different vegetable pathogens (Huang et al., 2015).
  25. 25. Nanopesticides… Table 2: Antifungal activity of Nano CU2O on Phypthpthora infestans of tomato (Servin et al., 2015).
  26. 26. Nanoherbicides • Weed infestation of field crops can also lead to a tremendous yield reduction if not eliminated. • Nanoherbicides eradicates weeds in an eco-friendly way, without any toxic residues in soil and environment (Pérez‐de‐Luque and Rubiales, 2009). • Nanoherbicides blend with soil particles and prevent the growth of resistant weed species. • Nanoherbicides kill viable underground ground plant parts like rhizomes or tubers, which act as a source for new weeds. • They target specific receptor in the roots of target weeds, and inhibit glycolysis of food reserves in the root system.
  27. 27. 6.0 POTENTIAL RISKS OF NANOTECHNOLOGY Nanoparticles may enter the human body in four major avenues; –through inhalation, –swallowing, –absorption from skin, –and deliberate injection during medical processes •Once they have entered the human body, they have a high degree of mobility, being small. •In some cases, they can even cross the blood-brain barrier. •Therefore the potential danger to human and animals of nanoparticles should not be neglected. •Nanoparticle residue is very difficult to be cleared away by common methods of rinsing.
  28. 28. Potential Risks…  It can get in to the spleen, brain, liver, heart, etc.  Nanoparticles may gain direct access to DNA, from the nucleus.  interaction of nanoparticle with the DNA and DNA-related protein damage the genetic material.  Ag, ZnO, and TiO2 could all cause oxidative damage in rat spleen and thymus.  injection of 200 mg/kg nano ZnO showed mild effects on male mouse liver, kidney, and heart function,  the nano ZnO also affected the live sperm rate and led to sperm deformity.  Nanoparticles tend to be toxic to the env’t given their size, shape, definite surface area, and surface modification.  The aqueous suspensions of nZnO, C60, nTiO2, single-walled carbon nanotubes, multiwalled carbon nanotubes and nAl2O3 nanoparticles can inhibit the growth of algae (Scenedsmus obliquus), as well as prevent D. magna movements, and can lead to death.  They can also produce some toxic side effects on beneficial microorganisms.
  29. 29. 7.0 CONCLUSION • Conventional farming practices are becoming increasingly inadequate, coupled with increasing demands of the terrestrial ecosystem. • Adoption of new technologies is crucial if production is to be increased to match the demands for food, fodder and fiber. • Nanotechnology guarantees a breakthrough in; – improving the nutrient use efficiency through nanoformulation of fertilizers, – breaking yield and nutritional quality barriers through bionanotechnology, – surveillance and control of pests and diseases, – understanding the mechanism of host-parasite interactions at the molecular scale, e.t.c… • However, requires a detailed understanding of science, as well as fabrication and material technology, in combination with knowledge of the agricultural production system. • For it to flourish, continuous funding and understanding on the part of policy makers and science administrators, along with reasonable expectations, would be crucial for this promising field.
  30. 30. 8.0 RECOMENDATIONS • There is an urgent human resources training need on nanotechnology, especially at the graduate level. • Need for funding to support the development of nanotechnology, and research support. • An understanding of the technology on the part of policy makers and science administrators. • More research should be done on the potential adverse effects of nanomaterials on human health, crops, and the environmental safety.
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