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Nanobiotechnology: Scope and potential for crop improvement

Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 233 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013, USA 01/2012; 1(1):3-02-2012.

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.

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    ABSTRACT: Compared to conventional or other contaminants, nanoparticlesJournal of Expert Opinion on Environmental Biology pose some new environmental challenges for scientists andJournal of Expert Opinion on Environmental Biology environmentalists worldwide. Nanotechnology will leave no fieldJournal of Expert Opinion on Environmental Biology untouched including agriculture by its ground breaking scientific innovations. So far, the use of nanotechnology in agriculture has been mostly theoretical, but it has begun to have a significant effect in the main areas of the food industry. Nanoparticles finding great potential as delivery systems to specific targets in living organisms and is being used in medical sciences. In plants, the same principles can be applied for a broad range of uses, particularly to tackle phytopathological infections, nutrition supplement and as growth adjuvant. Nanoparticles can be tagged to agrochemicals or other substances as delivery agent to plant system and tissues for controlled release of chemicals. Doing so, the negative effects of nanomaterials must not be overlooked, such as toxicity generated by free radicals leading to lipid peroxidation and DNA damage. Under this scenario, there is a need to predict the environmental effect of these nanoparticles in the foreseeable future. Key focus of the discussion will particularly relate the nanoparticles as adjuvant for agricultural crops, which may be toxic to plants and microbes naturally present in soil and generation of nanowaste in agroecosystem.
    Expert Opinion on Environmental biology. 02/2013; 2:1.

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