The Future of Nanotechnology in Plant Pathology
Annual Review of Phytopathology

2018 - Vol. 56 - pag. 111-133
Authors: Wade Elmer and Jason C. White
Engineered nanoparticles are materials between 1 and 100 nm and exist as metalloids, metallic oxides, nonmetals, and carbon nanomaterials and as functionalized dendrimers, liposomes, and quantum dots. Their small size, large surface area, and high reactivity have enabled their use as bactericides/ fungicides and nanofertilizers. Nanoparticles can be designed as biosensors for plant disease diagnostics and as delivery vehicles for genetic material, probes, and agrichemicals. In the past decade, reports of nanotechnology in phytopathology have grown exponentially. Nanomaterials have been integrated into disease management strategies and diagnostics and as molecular tools. Most reports summarized herein are directed toward pathogen inhibition using metalloid/metallic oxide nanoparticles as bactericides/fungicides and as nanofertilizers to enhance health. The use of nanoparticles as biosensors in plant disease diagnostics is also reviewed. As global demand for food production escalates against a changing climate, nanotechnology could sustainably mitigate many challenges in disease management by reducing chemical inputs and promoting rapid detection of pathogens.