Authors: Shiwen Huang, Ling Wang, Lianmeng Liu, Yuxuan Hou and Lu Li
Nanoscience emerged in the late 1980s and is developed and applied in China since the middle of the 1990s. Although nanotechnologies have been less developed in agronomy than other disciplines, due to less investment, nanotechnologies have the potential to improve agricultural production. Here, we review more than 200 reports involving nanoscience in agriculture, livestock, and aquaculture. The major points are as follows: (1) nanotechnologies used for seeds and water improved plant germination, growth, yield, and quality. (2) Nanotechnologies could increase the storage period for vegetables and fruits. (3) For livestock and poultry breeding, nanotechnologies improved animals immunity, oxidation resistance, and production and decreased antibiotic use and manure odor. For instance, the average daily gain of pig increased by 9.9-15.3 %, the ratio of feedstuff to weight decreased by 7.5-10.3 %, and the diarrhea rate decreased by 55.6-66.7 %. (4) Nanotechnologies for water disinfection in fishpond increased water quality and increased yields and survivals of fish and prawn. (5) Nanotechnologies for pesticides increased pesticide performance threefold and reduced cost by 50 %. (6) Nano urea increased the agronomic efficiency of nitrogen fertilization by 44.5 % and the grain yield by 10.2 %, versus normal urea. (7) Nanotechnologies are widely used for rapid detection and diagnosis, notably for clinical examination, food safety testing, and animal epidemic surveillance. (8) Nanotechnologies may also have adverse effects that are so far not well known.
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Photo: Jade plant (Crassula argentea) treated with nanomaterial and the growth of new leaves were promoted ( yellow pot ) compared to the control ( white pot ) (10 days after treatment) (Credits: Shiwen Huang, Ling Wang, Lianmeng Liu, Yuxuan Hou and Lu Li)