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AbstractSince their discovery, carbon nanotubes have been prominent members of the nanomaterial family. Owing to their extraordinary physical, chemical, and mechanical properties, carbon nanotubes have been proven to be a useful tool in the field of plant science. They were frequently perceived to bring about valuable biotechnological and agricultural applications that still remain beyond experimental realization. An increasing number of studies have demonstrated the ability of carbon nanotubes to traverse different plant cell barriers. These studies, also, assessed the toxicity and environmental impacts of these nanomaterials. The knowledge provided by these studies is of practical and fundamental importance for diverse applications including intracellular labeling and imaging, genetic transformation, and for enhancing our knowledge of plant cell biology. Although different types of nanoparticles have been found to activate physiological processes in plants, carbon nanotubes received particular interest. Following addition to germination medium, carbon nanotubes enhanced root growth and elongation of some plants such as onion, cucumber and rye-grass. They, also, modulated the expression of some genes that are essential for cell division and plant development. In addition, multi-walled carbon nanotubes were evidenced to penetrate thick seed coats, stimulate germination, and to enhance growth of young tomato seedlings. Multi-walled carbon nanotubes can penetrate deeply into the root system and further distribute into the leaves and the fruits. In recent studies, carbon nanotubes were reported to be chemically entrapped into the structure of plant tracheary elements. This should activate studies in the fields of plant defense and wood engineering. Although, all of these effects on plant physiology and plant developmental biology have not been fully understood, the valuable findings promises more research activity in the near future toward complete scientific understanding of the behavior of carbon nanotubes in plants. This chapter focuses on the impact of carbon nanotubes on plants and the potential use of these unique nanomaterials in crop management and plant biotechnology.
CitationSerag MF, Kaji N, Tokeshi M, Baba Y (2015) Carbon Nanotubes and Modern Nanoagriculture. Nanotechnology and Plant Sciences: 183–201. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-14502-0_10.
PublisherSpringer Science + Business Media