New nanocomposite shows great potential as a bio-fertilizer

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A recent study published in the journal Chemosphere presents a new CeO2 nanocomposite with multipotent bio-inoculants of micronutrient solubilizing bacteria (MSB) as a biofertilizer.

To study: Application of a new nanocomposite containing bacterial strains that solubilize micronutrients and a CeO2 nanocomposite as a bio-fertilizer. Image Credit: ronstik / Shutterstock.com

In current agronomic practices, synthetic fertilizers are used to increase plant yields. They include harmful artificial substances which degrade the quality of the soil, the nourishment of crops and contaminate the water column.

Agricultural products lacking in micronutrients (Zn, silicates and selenium) can now be supplemented with micronutrients through fertilization.

Bio-Fertilizers; An ecological alternative to chemicals

Synthetic fertilizers are commonly used to increase crop yields in soils depleted of nutrients due to pollution. The use of synthetic fertilizers increases the productivity of food crops in the region, allowing export. However, these fertilizers harm the soil, cause water leakage and have an indirect impact on the marine ecology and on those who directly consume the product. They also affect the soil by decreasing its long-term fertility and water retention.

Environmentally friendly biofertilizers have been shown to produce a specific microbial community that helps both crops and rhizobial soil. Plant fertilizers often contain nanoparticles, which allow slow release and targeted distribution of valuable nanoscale materials, increased plant productivity and reduced pollution.

Importance of micronutrients

Micronutrients such as zinc, magnesium, chloride and selenium are needed in trace amounts for the survival and prosperity of animals and plants. They are indirectly necessary in the human diet. A micronutrient deficiency causes a variety of nutritional problems.

Zinc is necessary for the physiological and biochemical processes of crops, as well as for the improvement of photosynthesis. It is needed in a range of 5 to 100 mg / kg, any amount less than this causing severe malnutrition.

Zn is found in soil in an impermeable, chalky and disintegrated state with a high pH. Selenium (Se) is a mineral necessary for human and animal health, and its deficiency causes cellular damage.

Lettuce, cabbage, asparagus, soybeans, peas, bacon, meat and fish all contain it organically. Inorganic Se can also be found in small amounts in soil.

Silicate is present in insoluble forms such as phosphate and potassium, which are necessary for plant production and for CO2 absorption.

Nanomaterials for agricultural applications

Carbon tubes, nanofibers and nanomaterials are examples of nanotechnology that have recently gained the attention of the agricultural sector. When nanomaterials are coated with the desired substance and released into the soil, the expected material is absorbed more efficiently than unmodified nanocomposites.

Fertilizers, insecticides, catalysts and hormones are all examples of desirable materials.

Nanomaterials are interesting because they accelerate the growth of plants and the absorption of nutrients. Cerium oxide is a semiconductor substance that has a wide range of uses in research. Due to its surface charge, the cerium oxide nanocomposite is particularly beneficial for the transport of the required minerals.

Objectives of current research

The main objective of this study was to use micronutrient solubilizing bacterial species to supply minerals to the soil, leading to increased plant development. The second objective was to study the development of plants using nanotechnology.

In addition, the main objective of this research was to examine the development of fenugreek seeds and plants under the influence of a new nanocomposite. This is because, in small quantities, the CEO2 nanocomposite with a large specific surface area can be very effective. The study also examines the impact of new micronutrient-dissolving microorganisms and CEOs2 nanoparticles on plant development.

Findings and Conclusion

In this research, nanocomposites were compared to bio-inoculants as a fertilizer, and nanoparticles were shown to be more effective than bio-inoculants.

Due to their adsorption process, nanomaterials have a high adhesion capacity to bio-inoculants. Self-contained bio-inoculants can decrease their effectiveness and have a limited lifespan in soil if used. However, using CeO2 nanocomposite will gently release the fertilizer into the soil environment, allowing the fertilizer to be absorbed for an extended period while reducing pollution.

For the cultivation of fenugreek, the mixture of bio-inoculant and Ce-nanocomposite has proved to be an excellent biofertilizer. Bioinoculants enriched fenugreek plants and agricultural production also increased.

This new biofertilizer may pave the way for revolutionary new developments in the agricultural sector.

Continue Reading: How Can Nanofertilizers Solve Nutrient Shortages?

Reference

Sonali, J. et al. (2022). Application of a new nanocomposite containing bacterial strains solubilizing micronutrients and CeO2 nanocomposite as a bio-fertilizer. Chemosphere. From: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0045653521022724?via%3Dihub

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