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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2022, Vol. 21 Issue (5): 1225-1242    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(21)63751-6
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Biosynthesized metallic nanoparticles as fertilizers: An emerging precision agriculture strategy
Busiswa NDABA1, Ashira ROOPNARAIN1, Haripriya RAMA1, 2, Malik MAAZA2, 3 
1 Microbiology and Environmental Biotechnology Research Group, Agricultural Research Council–Natural Resources and Engineering, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
2 Department of Physics, College of Science, Engineering and Technology, University of South Africa, Johannesburg 1709, South Africa
3 Nanosciences African Network, Materials Research Department, iThemba LABS-National Research Foundation, Cape Town 7131, South Africa
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Abstract  Nanofertilizers increase efficiency and sustainability of agricultural crop production.  Due to their nanosize properties, they have been shown to increase productivity through target delivery or slow release of nutrients, thereby limiting the rate of fertilizer application required.  Nanofertilizers can be synthesized via different approaches ranging from physical and chemical to green (biological) synthesis.  The green approach is preferable because it makes use of less chemicals, thereby producing less chemical contamination and it is safer in comparison to physicochemical approaches.  Hence, discussion on the use of green synthesized nanoparticles as nanofertilizers is pertinent for a sustainable approach in agriculture.  This review discusses recent developments and applications of biologically synthesized metallic nanoparticles that can also be used as nanofertilizers, as well as their uptake mechanisms for plant growth.  Toxicity concerns of nanoparticle applications in agriculture are also discussed.
Keywords:  biosynthesis       metallic nanoparticles        nanofertilizers        precision agriculture        food security  
Received: 28 January 2021   Accepted: 19 May 2021
Fund: This work was supported by the L’Oréal-UNESCO for women in Science Programme and the National Research Foundation (129651) of South Africa.  
About author:  Correspondence Busiswa Ndaba, Tel: +27-12-3102519, E-mail:

Cite this article: 

Busiswa NDABA, Ashira ROOPNARAIN, Haripriya RAMA, Malik MAAZA. 2022. Biosynthesized metallic nanoparticles as fertilizers: An emerging precision agriculture strategy. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 21(5): 1225-1242.

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