Nanotechnology in agriculture: Interactions between nanomaterials and cotton agrochemicals

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2015-05

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Abstract

Several studies have examined the application of nanotechnology in agricultural practices as a means to improve efficiency and yield; however, their interactions with agricultural chemicals are relatively unknown. Due to the potential of applied pesticides entering aquatic systems, these interactions and the influence of nanomaterials on pesticide toxicity and toxicokinetics should be examined. Previous research has shown that functionalized fullerenes, in mixture with a pyrethriod insecticide (bifenthrin), exhibited a synergistic toxic response compared to the pesticide alone. Alternatively, an antagonistic interaction was observed when Daphnia were exposed to a mixture of fullerenes and an organophosphate (tribufos). With the increase in nanomaterial use in products as an antimicrobial, studies are needed to examine potential interactions and alteration of risk.

The Western Tarnished Plant Bug (Lygus hesperus), common house cricket (Acheta domesticus) and Chironomus dilutus will be used as model terrestrial target and aquatic non-target invertebrate species for nanosilver and pesticide co-exposures. Response variables will include growth rates (mass and body size) and lethality. Toxicokinetic experiments will also be conducted to assess nanomaterial effects on uptake and elimination rates of pesticides. The objectives of this study are: 1) to examine the influence of nanosilver on pesticide toxicity and toxicokinetics in model invertebrates; and 2) to generate information related to enhanced efficiency of exposure to target species and understanding the risk of these mixtures to non-target species. Our ultimate research goal is to determine whether mixtures of nanosilver and pesticides result in additive or non-additive effects on invertebrate responses.

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Keywords

Nanotechnology, Insecticides, Pyrethroid, Nanosilver

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