Vol. 11 No. 2
Nanotechnology and allelopathy: synergism in action
Author(s): N. K. DHILLON AND S. S. MUKHOPADHYAY
Abstract: From seed drilling-to-dinner table, weeds account for S! loss of total cost of production. Efforts to control them resulted limited success, and often accompanied with degrading environmental quality and threat to life support system.rnNanotechnology is less than a decade old initiative in agriculture, but success stories have started emerging. For example, the application of Carboxy Methyl Cellulose (CMC) nanoparticle successfully detoxificated up to 88 per cent of atrazine, and encapsulation of nano-herbicide to reduce phytotoxicity appears to be promising. Other areas, where it may be explored are: (i) controlled release of herbicide, which may respond to environmental triggers like temperature, humidity, light and so on, (ii) design of advance nano-adjuvant, which may eventually replace active ingredients, (iii) regimenting nano-adjuvant and nano-active- ingredients with smart delivery system, (iv) designing nanoparticles that would be translocated to weed roots, and kill them by inhibiting glycolysis of their food reserves (marketed herbicides kill only above ground part of weeds), and (v) designing nano-formulations (nano-dispersants / nano-emulsions) of herbicides that sterile weed seeds by damaging seed coating. The advantages of nanotechnology applications in weed control would be improved efficiency and reduced amount of herbicides, avoidance of phytotoxity of crops, and rejuvenation of ecosystem damaged by herbicides. Nanotechnology interface in agriculture has to imitate nature and thereby would be benefitted by the advances made in the allelopathy.
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