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Emerging Trends in Agri-nanotechnology: Fundamental and Applied Aspects

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The science of nanotechnology, the manipulation, design and engineering of devices at the atomic and molecular scale, is starting to be applied to many disciplines including aspects of agriculture and crop science.ÊThis book opens with a brief history of nanotechnology in agriculture. Applications are then examined in detail, including nanopesticides, nanosensors, nanofertilizers, and nanoherbicides. Topics covered include; the biosynthesis of nanoparticles (through microbes, plants and other biotic agents); the ecological consequences of their delivery into the environment (examining effects and toxicity on soil, soil biota, and plants); safety issues; an overview of the global market for nanotechnology products, and the regulation of nanotechnology in agriculture. The book concludes with speculations on what the future holds for the technology. The book has been written by an international group of researchers and experts from over 12 countries with experience across a wide range of issues relating to the industry. This book will be of use to a wide range of researchers and professional scientists in the agricultural sector, academia and industry, including microbiologists, chemical engineers, geneticists, plant scientists and biochemists.

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1 Rewinding the History of Agriculture and Emergence of Nanotechnology in Agriculture

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1

Rewinding the History of

Agriculture and Emergence of

Nanotechnology in Agriculture

Sandhya Mishra,1# Leonardo Fernandes Fraceto,2*

Xiaodong Yang1 and Harikesh B. Singh3*

Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology, Xishuangbanna Tropical

Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China; 2Laboratory of

Environmental Nanotechnology, São Paulo State University, Brazil;

3

Department of Mycology and Plant Pathology, Institute of Agricultural

Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, India

1

1.1 Introduction

Agriculture has been the key factor for development and rise of human civilization by nurturing the ever-growing human population. Agricultural history dates back thousands of years when people started to harvest their food from the surroundings about 10,000 years bc (Wieczorek and Wright, 2012). The field of agriculture has witnessed groundbreaking revolutions with the main aim of enhancing food production in order to feed the constantly growing human population. The major concern for agriculturists is to enhance crop production in a sustainable manner with the aim of fulfilling food demand for the ever-growing human population, which is expected to grow to around 9.3 billion in 2050. In this regard, researchers are attempting to bring substantial changes in agricultural technology to shape the infrastructure of modern agriculture (Mba et al., 2012; Mishra et al., 2014b).

 

2 Use of Nanomaterials in Agriculture: Potential Benefits and Challenges

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2

Use of Nanomaterials in Agriculture: Potential

Benefits and Challenges

Daiana Silva Ávila,1* Solange Cristina Garcia,2*

Marcelo Dutra Arbo,2 Jessica Nardi2 and Maurício

Tavares Jacques1

Grupo de Pesquisa em Bioquímica e Toxicologia em Caenorhabditis elegans, Universidade Federal do Pampa, Uruguaiana, Brazil;

2

Laboratório de Toxicologia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil

1

2.1 Introduction

Agrochemicals are essential to increase the quantity of food; additionally, they are an ­important way to decrease or eradicate pests. On the other hand, with the development and adoption of transgenic crop plants, more agrochemicals, especially pesticides, are being utilized. Because of increased pesticide residues, there is more contamination of food and water. Novel technologies are becoming available for example, nanotechnology, including agrochemicals, is currently an emerging technology, and may soon be in everyday use. In the last decade, the area of nanotechnology has grown enormously from patents to scientific publications, in a variety of areas, such as energy production, electronics, medicine and agriculture (Chen et al., 2013; Cozzens et al., 2013; Kah, 2015). In the area of agriculture, scientific production is evident, concentrating on nanoagrochemicals, from nanopesticides to nanofertilizers (Kah, 2015; Mishra et  al., 2016;

 

3 Green Nanotechnology for Enhanced Productivity in Agriculture

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Green Nanotechnology for Enhanced Productivity in Agriculture

Kelvii Wei Guo*

Department of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering,

City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

3.1 Introduction

Green nanotechnology refers to producing environmentally friendly nanomaterials and nanoproducts without harming the environment or human health. It uses existing principles of green chemistry and green engineering to make nanomaterials and nanoproducts without toxic ingredients at low temperatures using less energy and renewable inputs wherever possible, and using life-cycle thinking in all design and engineering stages. Moreover, green technology offers manufacturing processes for production of nanomaterials and environmentally friendly products with no adverse impacts to the environment. The main aim of green nanotechnology is to develop nano-based products that benefit the environment either directly or indirectly (Green Nanotechnology, n.d.).

It is well known that the small size of nanomaterials gives them unique properties which differ from their larger counterparts. For example, zinc oxide is more soluble, cerium oxide displays enhanced antioxidant property, silicon exhibits electrical conductivity, and gold becomes chemically reactive at nanoscale. Such peculiar properties are being exploited and tailored for different applications; for instance, spurring scientific discoveries, promoting economic growth, creating jobs, improving human health; preventing/curing diseases, and safeguarding the environment.

 

4 Nanonutrient from Fungal Protein: Future Prospects on Crop Production

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4

Nanonutrient from Fungal

Protein: Future Prospects on Crop Production

J.C. Tarafdar* and Indira Rathore

ICAR-Central Arid Zone Research Institute, Jodhpur, India

4.1 Introduction

There is enormous interest in the synthesis of nanomaterials due to their

­unusual optical (Krolikowska et al., 2003), chemical (Kumar et al., 2003), photoelectrochemical (Chandrasekharan and Kamat, 2000), and electronic (Peto et al.,

2002) properties. There are various physical, chemical and aerosol (physicochemical) methods employed for the synthesis of nanoparticles (Panacek et al.,

2006; Tarafdar and Adhikari, 2015). However, these methods have certain disadvantages due to the involvement of toxic chemicals and radiation. Therefore, research is shifting towards biological methods of synthesis of nanoparticles, as these are cost-effective and eco-friendly. Thus, microorganisms have been applied in nanoparticle production (Gade et al., 2010; Tarafdar, 2013a). The importance of biological synthesis is being emphasized globally at present because chemical methods are capital intensive, toxic, non-eco-friendly and have low productivity.

 

5 Multifarious Applications of Nanotechnology for Enhanced Productivity in Agriculture

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Multifarious Applications of

Nanotechnology for Enhanced

Productivity in Agriculture

K.S. Subramanian,* K. Raja and S. Marimuthu

Department of Nano Science & Technology, Tamil Nadu Agricultural

University, Coimbatore, India

5.1 Introduction

Global agriculture underwent a series of metamorphoses that has led to the

­paradigm shift from traditional farming to precision agriculture. Such a shift is phenomenal in tropical agricultural production systems, particularly in India, where farming has faced a wide array of challenges. In the past decade, agriculture is being threatened by a burgeoning population, shrinking farmland, restricted water availability, imbalanced crop nutrition, multinutrient deficiencies in crops, yield stagnation and decline in organic matter. In order to overcome challenges ahead, people think of an alternate technology such as ‘nanotechnology’ to precisely detect and deliver the correct quantity of agri-inputs required by crops that promote productivity with environmental safety. Nanotechnology is highly exploited in energy, environment, electronics, medicine and health sciences while its application in agricultural sciences is yet to scratch the surface.

 

6 Different Methods of Nanoparticle Synthesis and Their Comparative Agricultural Applications

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Different Methods of Nanoparticle Synthesis and Their Comparative

Agricultural Applications

Kunzes Dolma*

CSIR – Institute of Microbial Technology, Chandigarh, India

6.1 Introduction

Agriculture is one of the most fundamental practices implemented by mankind ranging from kitchen gardening for a family to large-scale production for mass survival. In earlier days, agriculture was the only source of household wages, food, and had significant monetary value as well as contributing to the status of the family. However, in the history of mankind, there have been several instances where natural calamities such as drought, flood and climatic disturbances have caused mass deaths due to famine (Smil, 1999; Meena, 2015). Apart from the natural calamities, there have been many other challenges such as uncontrollable pest growth, low production yield, low crop quality, which have accounted for the death of millions from starvation and malnutrition.

In response, a leader of a Mexican research team, US agronomist Norman

 

7 Nanotoxicity to Agroecosystem: Impact on Soil and Agriculture

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Nanotoxicity to

Agroecosystem: Impact on Soil and Agriculture

Mahendra Rai,1* Aniket Gade,1 Avinash P. Ingle,1

Indarchand Gupta,1 Raksha Pandit1 and

Carolina Alves dos Santos2

Nanobiotechnology Laboratory, S.G.B. Amravati University, Amravati,

India; 2Biomaterials and Nanotechnology Laboratory, University of

Sorocaba, Sorocaba, Brazil

1

7.1 Introduction

Nanotechnology has emerged as a way of developing new compounds and innovative technologies in different areas of knowledge. The manufacturing and production of nanotechnological products is gaining much attention from scientists and entrepreneurs because of its multiple applications in pharmaceuticals, engineering, electronics, agriculture, and so on. Nanomaterials correspond to materials with one or more external dimensions in a size range of 1–100 nm, with characteristics and properties distinct from their analogues (Umair et  al.,

2016). These properties and intrinsic characteristics of nanomaterials are not the only features responsible for their success and versatility. Other properties are high surface area and high reactivity; consequently, the market of nanomaterials is growing to billions of dollar globally (Reddy et al., 2016; Tripathi et al., 2016).

 

8 Factors Affecting the Fate, Transport, Bioavailability and Toxicity of Nanoparticles in the Agroecosystem

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8

Factors Affecting the Fate,

Transport, Bioavailability and Toxicity of Nanoparticles in the Agroecosystem

Sudheer K. Yadav,1 Jai Singh Patel,1 Gagan Kumar,2

Arpan Mukherjee,1 Anupam Maharshi,2 Birinchi K.

Sarma,2* Surendra Singh1 and Harikesh B. Singh2

Department of Botany, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India;

Department of Mycology & Plant Pathology, Banaras Hindu University,

Varanasi, India

1

2

8.1 Introduction

The basic need for the current scenario is to face the global problem of production, food security and sustainability in constantly changing climatic conditions. The exhaustive use of agrochemicals to increase production has polluted the ground­ water and topsoil. A significant increase in food production is compulsory, but we have to ensure minimal damage to the environment by using new approaches.

One of the new approaches, the use of nanotechnology in the agricultural sector, is very important. The synthesis of nanomaterials through nanotechnology helps slow the release of pesticides and fertilizers, to reduce dosage and waste

 

9 Nanotechnology: Comprehensive Understanding of Interaction, Toxicity and the Fate of Biosynthesized Nanoparticles in the Agroecosystem

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9

Nanotechnology: Comprehensive

Understanding of Interaction,

Toxicity and the Fate of

Biosynthesized Nanoparticles in the Agroecosystem

Rahul Singh Rajput,1 Jyoti Singh,2 Prachi Singh,1

Manoj Kumar Chitara,1 Ratul Moni Ram,1 Sandhya

Mishra3* and Harikesh B. Singh1

Department of Mycology and Plant Pathology, Banaras Hindu University,

Varanasi, India; 2Department of Botany, Banaras Hindu University,

Varanasi, India; 3Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology, Xishuangbanna

Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

1

9.1 Introduction

The concept of nanotechnology was first given by American theoretical physicist Richard Feynman, 1959 in his classic talk ’There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom’

(Feynman, 1960). The term ’nanotechnology’ was first coined by Norio Taniguchi

(Taniguchi, 1974). It is the science of manipulation of matter on an atomic, molecular and supermolecular level. The Royal Society defines nanotechnology as ‘the design, characterization, production, application of structures, devices, and systems by controlling shape and size at nanometer scale’ (RSRAE, 2004). The National Nanotechnology

 

10 Global Market of Nanomaterials and Colloidal Formulations for Agriculture: An Overview

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Global Market of Nanomaterials and Colloidal Formulations for Agriculture: An Overview

Estefânia V.R. Campos,1 Jhones L. de Oliveira,1

Leonardo Fernandes Fraceto1 and Renato Grillo2*

São Paulo State University (UNESP), Institute of Science and Technology of Sorocaba, São Paulo, Brazil; 2São Paulo State University (UNESP),

Department of Physics and Chemistry, São Paulo, Brazil

1

10.1 Introduction

The increase in the growth rate of the global population, together with the need to produce greater amounts of high-quality food in smaller areas, has contributed to an expansion of the agricultural sector in recent years. New tools and farming policies have emerged, ranging from sustainable agriculture to mechanization, biotechnology and nanotechnology (Dethier, 2011; Unsworth et al., 2016). In this chapter, we will focus on nanotechnology, whose activity is related to the creation, processing, characterization and application of materials at the nanoscale

 

11 The Responsible Development of Nanoproducts – Lessons from the Past

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The Responsible Development of Nanoproducts – Lessons from the Past

Ankit Srivastava1* and Arohi Srivastava2

UCB Pharma Ltd, Slough, Berkshire, UK; 2University of Hertfordshire,

Hatfield, UK

1

11.1  Highlights of Nanotechnology Development across the Globe

Ever since Richard Feynman talked about molecular building with atomic precision in 1959, there has been no setback for nanotechnology. Soon after that, in 1974, Professor Norio Taniguchi coined the term ‘nanotechnology’. Although evidence suggests that nano-based techniques have been used unwittingly for centuries (Walter et al., 2006; Wittstock, 2012; Schaming and Remita, 2015), the first use of a nanomaterial in an industrial application was titanium dioxide, which was first accepted for cosmetic sunscreen in 1988. Since then, many research institutes have started working towards the development of nanotech products. In the 1990s Japan, China and the US were the pioneers in initiating regulations in nanotech research. Following them, several countries created government agencies to fund and regulate the development and application of nanotechnology. By the end of 1991, Dr Sumio Ijiima had invented carbon nanotubes, which became the base materials for many nanotech products (Iijima, 1991). In 1999, safety guidelines for nanotech were released for the first time by the Foresight institute in the US, the basic objective of which was to provide guidelines for the responsible development of nanotechnology. This guideline has been updated six times since then; the current version was last updated in April 2006. In 2000, the UK government published a White paper entitled ‘Excellence and Opportunity: A Science and

 

12 Nanotechnology Application and Emergence in Agriculture

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12

Nanotechnology Application and Emergence in Agriculture

Semih Otles1* and Buket Yalcin Sahyar1,2

1

Ege University, Izmir, Turkey; 2Indesit Company, Manisa, Turkey

12.1 Introduction

Nanotechnology basically can be defined as the science of manufacturing

­materials that have at least one dimension below 100 nanometer (nm) in size, while it can also be described as the study of physical matter and organized structures at the 1–100 nm physical range and also incorporation of these nanostructures into applications (Fig. 12.1). There are lots of differentiations between physical, chemical and biological properties when the scale turns from the micro- to the nanoscale. The major differentiation is larger surface/volume ratio of nanoscale materials. Additionally, nanomaterials reaction to mechanisms, thermodynamics and optical and magnetic properties are different from the same materials at macro levels. Nanoparticles have a different surface structure and composition via different reactivity, according to redox reactions and adsorption mechanisms.

 

13 Positive and Negative Effects of Nanotechnology

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13

Positive and Negative Effects of Nanotechnology

Amira S. Soliman*

Natural Resources Department, Cairo University, Giza, Egypt

13.1 Introduction

New technologies are always applied in an area such as agriculture to improve the

­production of crops. For the last decade or so, nanomaterials have been widely used in the world, such as the use of nanoparticles in agriculture, with the particles having certain valuable effects on the crops (Morla et al., 2011; Mishra et al., 2014). Nanoparticles have enhanced interaction, due to an increase in each of the following: reactive area; specific surface area; or responsiveness of these particles along the particle surfaces.

Nanotechnology can provide solutions to increasing agricultural productivity and decreasing environmental problems (Mishra and Singh, 2015; Mishra et al., 2017).

With the use of nanoparticles and nanopowders, researchers can produce controlledor delayed-release fertilizers (Roghayyeh et al., 2010; Kottegoda et al., 2011). On the other hand, there is now extensive argument about the hazards of releasing nanomaterials into the environment (USEPA, 2007), so many researchers are operating with increasing awareness of this topic in order to evaluate the potentially negative effects on the environment and on human health (Ruffini and Roberto, 2009). Therefore, this chapter highlights the importance of nanotechnology in improving agricultural productivity, and its ability to improve plant growth under normal and environmental stresses. Further, it will also shed light on some of the negative effects of nanotechnology that affect plants in particular and the environment in general.

 

14 Vanguard Nano(bio)sensor Technologies Fostering the Renaissance of Agriculture

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14

Vanguard Nano(bio)sensor

Technologies Fostering the

Renaissance of Agriculture

Amina Antonacci,1 Fabiana Arduini2 and Viviana

Scognamiglio1*

Institute of Crystallography, National Research Council, Monterotondo,

Italy; 2Department of Chemical Science and Technologies, University of

Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy

1

14.1 Introduction

In the report, The State of the World’s Land and Water Resources for Food and

Agriculture, published in 2011, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the

United Nations (FAO) stated:

Land and water resources are central to agriculture and rural development, and are intrinsically linked to global challenges of food insecurity and poverty, climate change adaptation and mitigation, as well as degradation and depletion of natural resources that affect the livelihoods of millions of rural people across the world.

(FAO, 2011)

In recent years, the challenge of assuring adequate food worldwide has never been harder due to demographic pressure, climate change, and the increased competition for resources, especially in developing countries such as Africa and Asia, where almost 1 billion people are undernourished. The agricultural industry has handled these increasing constraints producing massive food volumes by immoderately exploiting practices that have been used without considering their impact on the environment and human wellbeing. In fact, farming techniques have been oriented towards the indiscriminate use of labour and resources, high-tech machinery, and pesticides in the cultivation of crops to achieve an augmented profit, causing an abuse of the soil and at the same time triggering huge pollution levels in different environmental segments. Watercourses and related ecosystems are facing worrying levels of pollution and degradation due to intense farming that is causing reduced quality, biodiversity injury, water scarcity, damage to territories,

 

15 Current Trends and Future Priorities of Nanofertilizers

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Current Trends and Future

Priorities of Nanofertilizers

Carolina Castro Bueno*

Department of Environmental Engineering, São Paulo

State University, Sorocaba, Brazil

15.1 Introduction

The current view of environments and how to fertilize them is based on ­reductionist models, where each part of the environment is studied separately. In other words, the soil is seen as a separate entity; the amount of fertilizer required is another block; the root systems of the crop are another; and so on. A good way to understand this scenario is to visualize how phosphorus is used today and what its fate is.

Being a macroelement indispensable to agriculture, phosphorus has no substitute in food production (Cordell et al., 2011) and is a chemical element that is also essential to life, since it is a key component in cellular communication, cell membranes, ATP, DNA and so on. Currently, agriculture is based on the use of chemical fertilizers, which are applied indiscriminately and at large volumes.

 

16 Biosafety and Regulatory Aspects of Nanotechnology in Agriculture and Food

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16

Biosafety and Regulatory

Aspects of Nanotechnology in Agriculture and Food

Akansha Jain,1* Harikesh B. Singh2 and Sampa Das1

Division of Plant Biology, Bose Institute Centenary Campus, Kolkata,

India; 2Department of Mycology and Plant Pathology, Banaras Hindu

University, Varanasi, India

1

16.1 Introduction

Nanotechnologies have opened the door of innovation and promises for the development of new products in almost all industrial, agricultural and food-based sectors. They have increased the efficacy of agrochemicals, enhanced nutrient availability, created efficient machinery for drug delivery, improvised food processing and product storage. They have unique properties due to their high surface-to-mass ratio, which results in a higher reactivity for interactions, ion delivery or contact. However, due to such small dimensions, characteristics such as shape, composition, charge and solubility can change their physicochemical behaviour in an unpredictable way. Therefore, they may pose a risk to human health and the environment due to widespread and irrational use, either directly, or via exposure to animals or residues in soil by the virtue of their enhanced delivery potential (Amenta et al., 2015; Mishra et al., 2017).

 

17 Implication of Nanotechnology for the Treatment of Water and Air Pollution

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Implication of Nanotechnology for the Treatment of Water and Air Pollution

R.K. Chaturvedi*

Center for Integrative Conservation, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical

Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Yunnan, China

17.1 Introduction

Due to the revolution in the development of science and technology at the nanoscale, there has been an increase in the ability to fabricate and manipulate the nanosized materials; by which we mean particles smaller than 100 nm. Interest in these nanomaterials has increased tremendously because they produce many opportunities to improve the performance of material. Metal-based nanoparticles, consisting of Cu, Au, Ag, etc., have been generally used as industrial electrode, magnetic materials, chemicals, catalysts and optical media. In agriculture, the use of nanoparticles has just started, but is increasing its dimensions. With the help of nanosciences, plant growth has been enhanced by using a wide range of applications of nanotechnology (Nair et al., 2010).

 

18 Role of Nanotechnology in Insect Pest Management

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Role of Nanotechnology in Insect Pest Management

Deepika Chauhan,1 N.N. Singh2 and Vijay Kumar Mishra2*

Department of Entomology, College of Horticulture, Uttarakhand, India;

Department of Entomology and Agricultural Zoology, Banaras Hindu

University, Varanasi, India

1

2

18.1 Introduction

A chief consideration for population development is the pertinent need for a boost in food production. A huge proportion of people living in developing countries face the problem of food scarcity as a consequence of ecological forces, namely, rainstorms, floods and droughts on agriculture (Joseph and Morrison, 2006).

Correspondingly, farming and agricultural production are hampered by a number of abiotic and biotic factors. For example, insect pests, diseases and weeds cause substantial injury to prospective agricultural production. Conversely, herbivorous insects, one of the major obstacles in sustainable food production, are said to be accountable for devastating one-fifth of the world’s total crop production annually and losses can occur in the field as well as during storage (Oerke, 2006).

 

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