Weed Control Through Herbicide-Loaded Nanoparticles

  • Amna
  • Hesham F. Alharby
  • Khalid Rehman Hakeem
  • Mohammad Irfan Qureshi


Weeds infest crop fields and adversely affect the growth and yield of crop plants. Eradication of weeds from agricultural lands is often labour-extensive and economically expensive. Recent approaches used to control weeds include physical, cultural, chemical and biological methods. Chemical control through herbicides is an instant and effective remedy for weed control. However, there are reports on development of herbicide resistance in weeds possibly due to restricted bioavailability of herbicides in plants. Further, the extensive usage of toxic chemicals contaminates the environment and poses health threats to humans and animals. Efforts to design suitable nanoparticles (NPs) carrying herbicides offer a promising hope in the control of unwanted plant species. Such approaches include synthesis of NPs, nanoemulsions, nanoencapsulation, etc. Nanoherbicides not only reduce the herbicide load on the environment but also help in eradication of weeds without leaving any major toxic residues in soils and environment. These herbicide-loaded ‘nano-bullets’ can effectively target the specific plant organ or tissue with a controlled herbicide release. This approach of weed control costs less and ensures minimum toxicological implications besides increasing the herbicide bioavailability into weeds. We discuss here briefly the weed maniac and the strategies for its control and provide a detailed account of synthesis and applications of nanoherbicides with special emphasis on their bioavailability, distribution and the possible mechanisms of action in plants.


Nanoherbicide Weed plants Ecophysiology Nanoparticle Nano-emulsion Nano-encapsulation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amna
    • 1
  • Hesham F. Alharby
    • 2
  • Khalid Rehman Hakeem
    • 2
  • Mohammad Irfan Qureshi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiotechnologyJamia Millia IslamiaNew DelhiIndia
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesFaculty of Science, King Abdulaziz UniversityJeddahSaudi Arabia

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