Many aspects associated with the application of nanotechnology to agricultural activities are still unknown. In particular, there is not enough information on nanotoxicology in crops and we do not know the fate of nanoparticles in crops. Multiple experiments were carried out to study the effects of titanium oxide nanoparticles (nTiO2) on barley (Hordeum vulgare). Germinating seeds were exposed to 0, 500, 1000, and 2000 mg l−1nTiO2. Seed germination percentage, mitotic index, root elongation, and Ti concentration in seedlings were observed. In a greenhouse experiment, plants of barley were grown to physiological maturity in control soil and soil enriched with 500 and 1000 mg nTiO2 mg kg−1, respectively. The duration of the growth cycle and the plant biomass was influenced by nTiO2 compared to control plants. Concentrations of Ti were not very high with the exception of roots. However, the nTiO2 soil amendment had an impact on composition and nutritional quality of barley grains. Concentrations of Ca, Mn, and Zn in kernels were increased by nTiO2 treatments. Concentration of amino acids was affected by the treatments as well. nTiO2 treatments have the potential to influence the food chain and processing and economics of barley.
Part of the book: Application of Titanium Dioxide
The prediction that in 2050 our planet will be populated by over 9 billion people is quite reliable. This will pose serious problems with food, water and energy supply, particularly in less-developed countries. Considering that the human pressure over natural resources has already reached critical levels, international agencies such as the World Bank and UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) are soliciting scientific research in order to identify innovative solutions to support the primary sector. Nanotechnology is a rapidly evolving field with the potential to take forward the agriculture and food industry with new tools which promise to increase food production in a sustainable manner and to protect crops from pests. Such expectations are coupled with some uncertainties about the fate of nanomaterials in the agro-environment. However, the field application of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) has not been properly investigated yet, and many aspects have only been considered theoretically or with models, which make it difficult to properly assess the usefulness of ENMs for plant fertilization and protection.
Part of the book: New Visions in Plant Science