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Development of natural nanoherbicides and the study of mechanisms of toxicity and activity

Grant number: 22/11889-8
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2023
Effective date (End): March 31, 2025
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biochemistry - Chemistry of Macromolecules
Principal Investigator:Leonardo Fernandes Fraceto
Grantee:Ngangom Bidyarani Devi
Host Institution: Instituto de Ciência e Tecnologia. Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Sorocaba. Sorocaba , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:17/21004-5 - Agriculture, micro/nanotechnology and environment: from evaluation of the mechanisms of action to studies of transport and toxicity, AP.TEM


Weeds are one of the threats to the agriculture system as they jeopardize agroecosystems, and herbicides play a crucial role in controlling weeds, including their growth. To date, or since the last 70 years, weed management has mainly depended on synthetic herbicides; and the extensive usage has led weeds to develop an ever-increasing resistance to synthetic herbicides. Further, the current usage of synthetic herbicides in cultivating fields is reported to harm the environment. For instance, though the persistence of herbicides is low in the environment, they are potentially leachable molecules, and studies have reported the presence of pre-emergence herbicides in groundwater and surface water. In this regard, new agricultural technology could only be the means to overcome the challenges faced by the farmers, and nanotechnology provides a potential platform to transform the entire agricultural system in a better and more sustainable way. Nano-encapsulation of herbicides aimed at controlled and smart delivery of the molecules to the targeted site would enhance production and cause minimal environmental effects. Nanoparticles based on biopolymers like lignin could provide various functionalities, including antioxidant and antimicrobial activities, along with UV protection. Anisomycin and benzoxazinone are potential allelochemicals that have not yet been explored thoroughly in terms of their efficacies against Ipomoea grandifolia and Alternanthera tenella Colla plants. The encapsulated nano-herbicides to be developed in the current study aims to transcribe targeted weeds, killing them in an effective and environmentally sustainable way. Various physico-chemical parameters and control effects of nano-encapsulated anisomycin and benzoxazinone will be investigated, including their toxicity in the environment, for controlling weed in a better and more sustainable manner. In this project, nano-based anisomycin and benzoxazinone encapsulated lignin nanoparticles will be designed to accurately transport the allelochemicals for targeted delivery and control the growth of weeds, such as A. tenella and I. grandifolia. A. tenella Colla, providing an integrative approach of nanotechnology by contributing to crop protection and food security of the agricultural system.

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