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Reducing nitrogen dosage in triticum durum plants with urea-doped nanofertilizers

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  • Gloria B. Ramírez-Rodríguez, University of Granada, University of Insubria
  • ,
  • Cristina Miguel-Rojas, University of Insubria, IFAPA
  • ,
  • Gabriel S. Montanha, Universidade de Sao Paulo
  • ,
  • Francisco J. Carmona, University of Insubria
  • ,
  • Gregorio Dal Sasso, CNR
  • ,
  • Josefina C. Sillero, IFAPA
  • ,
  • Jan Skov Pedersen
  • Norberto Masciocchi, University of Insubria
  • ,
  • Antonietta Guagliardi, CNR
  • ,
  • Alejandro Pérez-De-luque, IFAPA
  • ,
  • José M. Delgado-López, University of Granada

Nanotechnology is emerging as a very promising tool towards more efficient and sustainable practices in agriculture. In this work, we propose the use of non-toxic calcium phosphate nanoparticles doped with urea (U-ACP) for the fertilization of Triticum durum plants. U-ACP nanoparticles present very similar morphology, structure, and composition than the amorphous precursor of bone mineral, but contain a considerable amount of nitrogen as adsorbed urea (up to ca. 6 wt % urea). Tests on Triticum durum plants indicated that yields and quality of the crops treated with the nanoparticles at reduced nitrogen dosages (by 40%) were unaltered in comparison to positive control plants, which were given the minimum N dosages to obtain the highest values of yield and quality in fields. In addition, optical microscopy inspections showed that Alizarin Red S stained nanoparticles were able to penetrate through the epidermis of the roots or the stomata of the leaves. We observed that the uptake through the roots occurs much faster than through the leaves (1 h vs. 2 days, respectively). Our results highlight the potential of engineering nanoparticles to provide a considerable efficiency of nitrogen uptake by durum wheat and open the door to design more sustainable practices for the fertilization of wheat in fields.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1043
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

    Research areas

  • Agriculture, Calcium phosphate, Nanofertilizer, Quality, Urea, Wheat

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