- Nanoparticles altered phytohormonal, gasotransmitter and antioxidant homeostasis.
- They biofortified and nutritionally enriched the cereal crops.
- They ameliorated oxidative injuries during climatic and xenobiotic stresses.
- At optimal doses, the nanoparticles behaved as beneficial nano-stimulators of growth.
Precision farming using nanoparticles is a cutting-edge technology for safe cultivation of crop plants in marginal areas afflicted with environmental/climatic stresses like salinity, drought, extremes of temperature, ultraviolet B stress or polluted with xenobiotics like toxic heavy metals and fluoride. Major cereal crops like rice, wheat, maize, barley, sorghum and millets which provide the staple food for the entire global population are mainly glycophytes and are extremely susceptible to abiotic stress-induced oxidative injuries. Nanofertilization/exogenous spraying of beneficial nanoparticles alleviates the oxidative damages in cereals by altering the homeostasis of phytohormones like abscisic acid, gibberellins, cytokinins, auxins, salicylic acid, jasmonic acid and melatonin and by triggering the synthesis of gasotransmitter nitric oxide. Signaling cross-talks of nanoparticles with plant growth regulators enable activation of the defence machinery, comprising of antioxidants, thiol-rich compounds and glyoxalases and restrict xenobiotic mobilization by suppressing the expression of associated transporters. Accelerated nutrient uptake and grain biofortification under the influence of nanoparticles result in optimum crop productivity under sub-optimal conditions. However, over-dosing of even beneficial nanoparticles promotes severe phytotoxicity. Hence, the concentration of nanoparticles and mode of administering need to be thoroughly standardized before large-scale field applications, to ensure sustainable cereal cultivation with minimum ecological imbalance.
Nanoparticles, Cereals, Signaling cross-talks, Biofortification, Abiotic stress, Stress tolerance
*Original abstract online at https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0045653521022992?via%3Dihub