IIT Kanpur has developed innovative nanoparticles for disease and protection of rice crop

It is an effective organic antimicrobial agent and can be used as carbonaceous degradable to protect grains.

A team of researchers led by Dr. Santosh K. Mishra and Piyush Kumar from the Department of Biological Sciences and Bioengineering have developed a novel nanoparticle-based bio-degradable-carbonoid-metabolite (bioDCM) that can protect agricultural crops from fungal and bacterial infections. Kanan and Divya Mishra from ICAR-Indian Institute of Rice Research and Dr. R. Balamurugan and Mau Mandal from School of Chemistry, University of Hyderabad.

This is the second such innovation in the agricultural sector since IIT Kanpur last year. Last year, of the 107 patents filed by the institute, one of the path-breaking inventions was the ground-testing soil-testing device which has been shown to significantly reduce the time and hassle required for soil testing in the laboratory. Adding to that relentless story of bringing effective innovation to farmers, this novel will serve as a shield against the invention of nanoparticles to protect crops, especially rice, from infection and disease.

The technology is a protective biological alternative that can be used in agriculture, especially for rice crops to increase crop protection against various diseases. It has evolved into a biodegradable nanoparticle system with a metabolite – the end product of metabolism or the process of food conversion, which is derived from naturally occurring common soil fungi, such as Trichoderma asperleum strain TALK1. These extracted metabolites can be used as an effective organic antimicrobial agent and carbonaceous degradable to protect against crop diseases and enrich the soil, respectively.

Some key benefits of innovation:

  • Specific goal action
  • May be active at low concentrations
  • Chemical pesticides have similar advantages but are safer and more biodegradable, different from them
  • Can offer multiple actions, such as – biopesticide, phyto-stimulant etc.
  • It works fast because it is applied in bioactive form
  • Bio formulation protects the active compound from high temperatures

There is a huge demand for natural products for plant protection in organic farming and export oriented products. Organic formulations are non-toxic in nature, environmentally friendly, easily corrosive and have been established as a strong natural deterrent to the growth and development of soil-based plant pathogens, including fungi and bacteria. This helps the crop to defend itself by acquiring defenses and meeting the level of competition for better productivity. The innovation helps to overcome some of the shortcomings such as less control over bioavailability, pre-mature decay and absorption by the crop, thus, creating it. A viable option for farmers.

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