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Tailoring oxide based nanoparticles for the mineral nutrition of plants


Nanomaterials present great potential to be employed in agriculture. Due to features such as solubity and transport they may be used for the mineral nutrition. The present proposal has two main goals: firstly we aim at investigating the mechanisms of uptake of nutrients supplyed by nanoparticles. The second one covers tunning of particle properties that result in maximum absorption. Thus opening the possibility of employing these particles as fertilizers. At University of Bath (UK) copper and iron based nanoparticles will be prepared. The effect of these materials on plant development and seed germination will be evaluated at the University of São Paulo (Brazil). For this purpose, we will use bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) as model organism. Micro X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy will be used to uncover the mechanisms of absorption and transport of nanomaterials. Then the nanoparticles will be taylored giving rise to nanoparticles of enhanced absorption capacity. (AU)