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Posted: May 21, 2010

Prospects in the use of nanotechnologies in plant growing

(Nanowerk News) Nanotechnologies in agriculture are mostly associated with the reproduction of agricultural species and the processing and improvement of the quality of production. Nanotechnologies are already being used for disinfection of the air and of various materials, including food for animals, for purification of water in agro-ecological systems, for the treatment of seeds and cultures, for stimulation of the growth and the development of plants, as well as for the development of new types of packing materials allowing the continuous preservation of the ready products.
Observations on nanotechnological processes in plant growing show that the use of nano preparations secures an increased resistance to unfavourable atmospheric processes and the increase of the quantity and quality of the harvest. For almost all grain, technical, vegetable and orchard cultures, such as potatoes, grain, orchard and strawberry-fruit cultures, cotton and flax, the indicators characterizing the harvest are increased 1.5-2 times. Nanotechnologies are actively implemented in the processing of the harvest from sunflower, tobacco and potatoes, for keeping apples in a regulated environment, etc. The effect is achieved thanks to the active penetration of microelements in the plants, due to the nano-dimensions of the particles and their neutral (in the electrochemical sense) status.
In a reaction to the increasing requirements in the production and keeping of food products the recent years saw the development in Bulgaria, too, of different biotechnologies and preparations made from natural components. The possibility for the application of deep-water organogenic-mineral sediments in the field of nanotechnologies was investigated. In this case, nanosized are the numerous phyto- and zooplankton species such as coccolithophores (Emiliania huxleyi), built up of amorphous carbonate skeletons and diatom seaweeds, built up of silicate (SiO2 amorf.) skeletons. The deep-water sapropel, coccolith and diatom slimes from the bottom of the Black Sea are characterized by a favourable combination of organogenic and mineral components. Apart from sapropels, high-carbonate coccolithophorid slimes can also be regarded as an independent raw material. They are deposed immediately on the bottom over the sapropels and have a depth of up to 50 cm. The depositions of pure diatom slimes are located at depths of 200 to 1200-1300 m. The dying flora and fauna of the Black Sea that form an exogenic biological-mineral substance with special physicochemical and biogeochemical properties serve as an initial substance of deep-water organogenic-mineral sediments. The advantages of deep-water organogenic-mineral sediments are that there is no harmful microflora in them, they are sterile (having been formed in the sulphuretted hydrogen layer on the sea bottom, deprived of life), they do not need any special preliminary processing and hence they are a very good natural raw material for the creation of biopreparations in water-mechanic suspension.
From 2003 and in the course of 6 years, a team from Metodi Popov Institute of Physiology of Plants at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences headed by Senior Research Associate G. Tz. Georgiev developed a series of bioproducts (stimulants, inhibitors and bioprotectors) for biological and conventional agriculture on the basis of a combination of deep-water organogenic-mineral sediments and different etheric oils, vegetable extracts and other biologically active components.
Extracts from Black Sea sapropels – GP Extracts S
These are universal natural fertilizer components that can be used in all spheres and sectors of Bulgarian agriculture. The large range of the products of GP Extracts S are successfully applied in field and orchard cultures, vineyards, vegetable (horticultural and greenhouse), etheric-oil, strawberry-fruit plantations and flowers, decorative and forest species – trees and shrubs. The GP Extracts S preparations make their impact on the vegetable objets under treatment for a long period of time. They are completely soluble, a circumstance that makes them approporiate for the qualitative treatment of seeds and their use with irrigation waters. The effect of the preparations amounts to stimulating the germination of the seeds and to an accelerated growth in the early phases of the development, which is due to the presence of the nutritious elements in an amorphous state allowing the transformation of the soil organogenic elements into an easily assimilable state. An increase of the resistance of the plants to various kinds of stress and diseases is also observed, as is the stimulation of the increase of the soil microflora, assisting the increase of the quantity of useful soil microorganisms and suppressing the development of the phytopathogens living in the soil.
GP Extracts S are applied in the treatment of:
  • seeds – 180 ml/t
  • planting material and seedlings – depending on the vegetable species, the doses vary from 40 to 130 ml/l;
  • foliar application during vegetation – in doses of 15-20 ml/l with a consumption of water solutions of 30 – 60 l/decare, depending on the phase of development;
  • in the soil (with irrigation waters through the different types of irrigation systems) – 2-2,5 l/decare.
  • Substrates enriched with Black Sea sapropels – GP Substrates S
    The substrates are composed of high-quality complex natural raw materials. These provide a nutritious solution to the plants with a balanced ratio between the basic nutritious substances and the full set of microelements, vital for the different vegetable species in an assimilable state for the root system of the plants. The major biologically active components are easily soluble and with their nano-dimensions they are entirely incorporated and evenly distributed in the compost. That is why the high-quality complex natural fertilizers of GP Substrates S turn the peat and the soil into a high-quality mixture for the production of healthy, harmonically developed and seasoned seedlings.
    GP Rizoact S are highly concentrated preparations increasing the rhizogenic activity in perennial species. Their composition includes Black Sea sapropels, extracts from seaweeds possessing fungicidal, bacterial and antiviral properties, humic acids, natural phytohormones, vitamins, micro- and macroelements. The products of the new rhizogenic formulation are mainly used for increasing the percentage of the rooting of vegetatively reproducing species:
  • fruit stocks ;
  • grapevine planting material;
  • etheric-oil;
  • strawberry-fruit;
  • flower;
  • decorative and forest species – trees and shrubs;
  • medical;
  • hardly rooting species.
  • The GP Rizoact S preparations have a durable phytohormonal rhizogenic effect mainly with green and ripe cuttings. There is an acceleration of their rooting and protection of the cuttings from pathogens, which ensures qualitatively rooted reproduction material to almost 100%.
    Products of the GP Productivity S range
    These are highly effective multi-component biopreparations composed of natural, ecologically clean raw materials containing humate, humic acids, a complex of aminoacids, growth regulators, salicylic acid, glutamine, natural phytohormones, extracts from seaweeds, macro- and microelements in an amorphous state and others. These stimulate the growth and the development of the plants, have an effect of the productive organs, and with their bactericidal, fungicidal and antiviral properties they boost the immune system of the plants – which is a guarantee for resisting the agents of diseases and insects. They restore and improve the fertility of the soil, decrease the toxic impact of the residual substances of pesticides, as well as the unfavourable impact of heavy metals and radionuclides, binding them in hardly movable states and insoluble compounds, decrease the acidity of the soil and resist salination. They increase the water-retaining capacity and the aeration of the soils and decrease erosion. They abruptly decrease the diseases and the rotting of the roots, increase the photosynthesis, the growth of roots and vegetative parts, increase the vitality of seeds and their germination energy and the content of the dry substance, increase the quantity of gluten, protein, vegetable fats, sugar and starch. They decrease the content of nitrates in vegetables and fruits and increase the speed of development of the plants by shortening their vegetation period, improve the quality of the harvest and decrease the losses in the storing of agricultural production.
    The various positive impact makes the products of this series appropriate for use in both ecological and conventional agriculture, but especially effective are the preparations for plant growing in closed areas, in the creation of new massifs of permanent plantations and vineyards, field and row crops in the conditions of a lack of irrigation.
    We prepare the special substrates with which we are trying to meet the requirements of our farmers from several species of high-quality, ecologically pure (white and black) Black Sea sapropels. Using a special technology disallowing the presence of agents of diseases and pests, to these (EC Regulation No 889/2008) we can add:
  • N:P:K;
  • fertilizers with a durable effect (organic and synthetic) – 4,5,6,8,10 months;
  • limestone – 2 types;
  • agroperlite – different fractions, according to the customer’s order;
  • chelate iron up to 13,3% (EC);
  • clays – 1-8 mm;
  • sand;
  • stimulators of growth;
  • rooters;
  • microelements;
  • alluminium sulphate;
  • etheric oils;
  • extracts from medical plants;
  • organic mass – from hay, grapevine twigs, grape seeds, shells from stone-fruits, orchard branches, sawdust, mosses, residual products from mushroom production, etc.
  • As a result of trials made in the course of many years, a conclusion was made that deep-water organogenic-mineral sediments are very appropriate for the creation of preparations (natural for organic agriculture, combined for conventional agriculture). These are also applicable for the recultivation of soils that are acid, poor in microelements and eroded, as well as for enriching substrates, which is in consistence with the policy of the European Union with regard to agriculture, requiring the search for alternative raw materials for the improvement of the structure of the soils, with the aim of achieving ecological agricultural production.
    Source: Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
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