Nanotechnology in agriculture: Current status, challenges and future opportunities

Muhammad Usman*, Muhammad Farooq, Abdul Wakeel, Ahmad Nawaz, Sardar Alam Cheema, Hafeez ur Rehman, Imran Ashraf, Muhammad Sanaullah

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

392 Citations (Scopus)


Nanotechnology has shown promising potential to promote sustainable agriculture. This article reviews the recent developments on applications of nanotechnology in agriculture including crop production and protection with emphasis on nanofertilizers, nanopesticides, nanobiosensors and nano-enabled remediation strategies for contaminated soils. Nanomaterials play an important role regarding the fate, mobility and toxicity of soil pollutants and are essential part of different biotic and abiotic remediation strategies. Efficiency and fate of nanomaterials is strongly dictated by their properties and interactions with soil constituents which is also critically discussed in this review. Investigations into the remediation applications and fate of nanoparticles in soil remain scarce and are mostly limited to laboratory studies. Once entered in the soil system, nanomaterials may affect the soil quality and plant growth which is discussed in context of their effects on nutrient release in target soils, soil biota, soil organic matter and plant morphological and physiological responses. The mechanisms involved in uptake and translocation of nanomaterials within plants and associated defense mechanisms have also been discussed. Future research directions have been identified to promote the research into sustainable development of nano-enabled agriculture.

Original languageEnglish
Article number137778
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - Jun 15 2020


  • Crop production
  • Crop protection
  • Nano-enabled agriculture
  • Nanofertilizers
  • Nanomaterials
  • Nanopesticide
  • Soil remediation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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