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Application of radiometric techniques to characterize the retention, mobility, toxicity, and degradation of herbicide nanocarrier systems in the environment


The increase in world population makes agriculture and food production essential practices to combat hunger. Pests, diseases, and weeds are biotic factors that interfere with agriculture and reduce the production of cultivated areas and, consequently, the production and supply of food. Pesticides (insecticides, fungicides, and herbicides) are the main inputs used to combat these biotic factors, herbicides being the most commercialized class in the world. After application in the environment, these products are responsible for environmental impacts such as accumulation in the soil, water contamination, and effects on non-target organisms. New technologies, such as nanotechnology, provide a reduction in the amount of active ingredient that reaches these environmental compartments. And it is an alternative for reducing the impact of these products on the environment. Nanotechnology is capable of increasing efficacy and reducing the amount of herbicides applied to the environment through nanocarrier systems. It is necessary to understand the mobility, retention, and degradation of new herbicide formulations in different soil types and cropping systems. It is also essential to characterize the uptake/translocation pathways of these formulations in plants and their effectiveness in target control. The objective of this proposal is to elucidate the behavior and efficacy of herbicide carrier nanoformulations in different matrices using radiometric techniques. The expected results are to understand how these formulations behave in the environment if there is a change in the absorption/translocation route, how this occurs in plants, and what is their efficacy in the target organism. It is expected to contribute to the advancement of new technologies in agriculture, which enable the reduction in the amount of herbicides applied to the environment, and thus reduce the environmental risk of these inputs and increase the sustainability of agricultural production systems. Besides the scientific impacts, this project has a high degree of interdisciplinarity, as it involves nanotechnology, chemistry, agronomy, and ecotoxicology, with the use of radiolabeled herbicides in the tracking of nanoherbicides in the environment. This proposal will expand the research lines already consolidated in the Laboratory of Ecotoxicology of CENA/USP. Enabling the attraction of new talents, the dissemination of knowledge, the training of professionals, and the expansion of this research area in Brazil. (AU)

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