Nanoparticles: A New Threat to Crop Plants and Soil Rhizobia?
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Nanoparticles (NPs) are extremely small units occurring at the scale of nanometers (nm) which have been synthesized from both chemical and natural sources. The applicability of these particles has expanded over the past decade so that thousands of useful applications are now attributed to these remarkable particles. The impact of nanotechnology on medicine and other branches of material science suggests that researchers can craft particles for improving and developing agricultural products. The potential benefits of different types of NPs for enhancing the sustainable growth of plants have evaluated under in vitro and greenhouse conditions; results show that nanoparticles cause both positive and adverse effects to plants. In some cases, NPs trigger the growth of aerial parts of plants; for other species, no benefits are observed, and in others, growth of target plants decrease or are partially inhibited. Introduction of nanoparticles to agricultural systems, after consideration of possible safety concerns and possible side effects to crop plants and soil ecosystems, may be helpful to farmers for enhancing crop growth, and for conserving arable lands and managing them sustainably. This chapter aims to present and briefly discuss several nanoparticles and report potential side-effects to plants and soil microorganisms.
KeywordsAgriculture Rhizobacteria Nanoparticles Toxicity
This chapter is dedicated to Prof. Nicolas Taylor, University of Western Australia, for his kindness, and for his endless support.
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