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Zinc encapsulated chitosan nanoparticle to promote maize crop yield

Choudhary, Ram Chandra, Kumaraswamy, R.V., Kumari, Sarita, Sharma, S.S., Pal, Ajay, Raliya, Ramesh, Biswas, Pratim, Saharan, Vinod
International journal of biological macromolecules 2019 v.127 pp. 126-135
Curvularia, alkaline soils, chitosan, corn, disease control, disease incidence, enzymes, foliar application, grain yield, innate immunity, leaf spot, lignin, nanoparticles, nutrient deficiencies, seed priming, seedling growth, zinc
Zinc deficient/or alkaline soil is globally widespread issue and cultivation of cereals in such soil results in severe depression in plant growth, higher disease incidence and lower grain yield. To address such problems, laboratory synthesized Zn-chitosan nanoparticles (NPs) were evaluated via seed priming and foliar application in maize plants. Zn-chitosan NPs (0.01–0.16%) showed strong in vitro antifungal and seedling growth promotry activities. Further, Zn-chitosan NPs exhibited significant disease control through strengthening of plant innate immunity by elevating antioxidant and defense enzymes, balancing of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and enhancing lignin accumulation. In field, seed treatment and foliar application of developed NPs (0.01–0.16%) significantly controlled Curvularia leaf spot (CLS) disease, increased grain yield from 20.5 to 39.8% and enriched the grain with zinc micronutrient from 41.27 to 62.21 μg/g dw. Results claim that Zn-chitosan NPs could be an effective growth promotry, disease controlling and micronutrient fortifying agent in maize crop.