Plant nanobionics: Fortifying food security via engineered plant productivity

Meththika Vithanage, Xiaokai Zhang, Viraj Gunarathne, Yi Zhu, Lasantha Herath, Kanchana Peiris, Zakaria Solaiman, Nanthi Bolan, Kadambot H.M. Siddique

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The world's human population is increasing exponentially, increasing the demand for high-quality food sources. As a result, there is a major global concern over hunger and malnutrition in developing countries with limited food resources. To address this issue, researchers worldwide must focus on developing improved crop varieties with greater productivity to overcome hunger. However, conventional crop breeding methods require extensive periods to develop new varieties with desirable traits. To tackle this challenge, an innovative approach termed plant nanobionics introduces nanomaterials (NMs) into cell organelles to enhance or modify plant function and thus crop productivity and yield. A comprehensive review of nanomaterials affect crop yield is needed to guide nanotechnology research. This article critically reviews nanotechnology applications for engineering plant productivity, seed germination, crop growth, enhancing photosynthesis, and improving crop yield and quality, and discusses nanobionic approaches such as smart drug delivery systems and plant nanobiosensors. Moreover, the review describes NM classification and synthesis and human health-related and plant toxicity hazards. Our findings suggest that nanotechnology application in agricultural production could significantly increase crop yields to alleviate global hunger pressures. However, the environmental risks associated with NMs should be investigated thoroughly before their widespread adoption in agriculture.
Original languageEnglish
Article number115934
JournalEnvironmental Research
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2023


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