Bio-Inspired Nanoparticles Boost Rice Growth in Water-Based Farming

Jenn Hoskins
18th March, 2024

Bio-Inspired Nanoparticles Boost Rice Growth in Water-Based Farming

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • Scientists at Amity University used cyanobacteria to create eco-friendly copper oxide nanoparticles
  • These nanoparticles, when applied to rice plants, significantly boosted their growth
  • This method offers a new, cost-effective nanofertilizer for sustainable agriculture
In the quest for sustainable agriculture, scientists are turning to nature for solutions. One such innovation is the use of cyanobacteria, a group of bacteria that obtain their energy through photosynthesis, for the eco-friendly production of nanoparticles. Nanoparticles are tiny particles that measure in nanometers (one billionth of a meter) and possess unique properties due to their small size. These properties have a range of applications, including in agriculture where they can enhance plant growth and protect against pests. At Amity University, a recent study[1] has harnessed the potential of cyanobacteria to create copper oxide (CuO) nanoparticles, which are known to be essential micronutrients for plants. The cyanobacteria used in this study were specifically chosen for their plant growth-promoting attributes, such as the production of indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), a plant hormone that encourages growth, as well as their ability to make iron more available to plants (siderophores) and to break down phosphate, making it easier for plants to absorb. The chosen cyanobacterial strain, identified as Pseudanabaena foetida RJ1, was isolated from different environments like freshwater and soil. Scientists used both the biomass extract and cell-free extracts from this strain to synthesize the CuO nanoparticles. These nanoparticles were then combined with zeolite, a low-cost adsorbent, to create a nano-formulation. This formulation was applied to germinated paddy seeds and the effects on plant growth were observed under hydroponic conditions, which is a method of growing plants without soil, using mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent. The application of the cyanobacteria-based CuO nanoparticles resulted in a significant boost to the growth of the rice plants. This finding is particularly exciting as it suggests a new, economically viable nanofertilizer for enhancing plant growth. The study by Amity University represents a novel approach, as no previous research has reported a comparative investigation of this kind. This research ties in with earlier studies on the biosynthesis of nanoparticles using cyanobacteria. For instance, studies have shown that different strains of cyanobacteria can synthesize silver nanoparticles with strong antibacterial properties[2][3][4]. These nanoparticles are not only effective against harmful bacteria but can also promote seed germination and early seedling growth in crops like wheat[2], showing the versatility of nanoparticles in agriculture. Moreover, the ability of cyanobacteria to produce IAA, a phytohormone that promotes plant growth, has been previously documented[5]. This attribute is particularly important as it underlines the dual role of cyanobacteria in both synthesizing nanoparticles and directly promoting plant growth through hormone production. The methods used in the recent study are significant for several reasons. Firstly, the synthesis of nanoparticles using cyanobacteria is a green process, avoiding the use of toxic chemicals. Secondly, the use of cyanobacteria as a natural source for the synthesis of nanoparticles could potentially reduce the cost of production, making it more accessible for widespread use in agriculture. Lastly, the use of nanoparticles in agriculture has the potential to reduce the environmental impact compared to traditional fertilizers and pesticides, which can have harmful side effects. In conclusion, the innovative use of cyanobacteria to create CuO nanoparticles represents a promising step forward in the development of sustainable agricultural practices. By tapping into the naturally occurring processes of these microorganisms, scientists at Amity University have opened the door to new nanotechnology-based solutions that could revolutionize how we grow our food, making it more efficient and environmentally friendly. The potential for these findings to be applied at a larger scale could have significant benefits for food security and sustainable farming practices worldwide.

BiotechPlant ScienceAgriculture


Main Study

1) Cyanobacteria Based Nanoformulation of Biogenic CuO Nanoparticles for Plant Growth Promotion of Rice Under Hydroponics Conditions.

Published 16th March, 2024

Related Studies

2) Biogenic synthesis of silver nanoparticles using cyanobacterium Leptolyngbya sp. WUC 59 cell-free extract and their effects on bacterial growth and seed germination.

3) Green Synthesis and Characterization of Silver Nanoparticles with High Antibacterial Activity Using Cell Extracts of Cyanobacterium Pseudanabaena/Limnothrix sp.

4) Synthesis and biological characterization of silver nanoparticles derived from the cyanobacterium Oscillatoria limnetica.

5) Evidence for production of the phytohormone indole-3-acetic acid by cyanobacteria.

Journal: Planta, Issue: Vol 215, Issue 2, Jun 2002

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