Nanobiotechnology: Scope and potential for crop improvement
ABSTRACT The production level of food grains has become an issue of concern as it has been showing a downward trend over the last decade. Since, there has been a drastic decrease in natural resources; it is through agriculture that we can visualize a self sustainable world. The growth in agriculture can be achieved only by increasing productivity through an effective use of modern technology as the land and water resources are limited. Nanobiotechnology provides the tool and technological platforms to advance agricultural productivity through genetic improvement of plants, delivery of genes and drug molecules to specific sites at cellular levels. The interest is increasing with suitable techniques and sensors for precision in agriculture, natural resource management, early detection of pathogens and contaminants in food products and smart delivery systems for agrochemicals like fertilizers and pesticides. To achieve the goals of “nano- agriculture”, detailed investigation on the ability of nanoparticles to penetrate plant cell walls and work as smart treatment-delivery systems in plants is needed. In this chapter, thorough studies and reliable information regarding the effects of nanomaterials on plant physiology and crop improvement at the organism level are discussed.