Flavoursome tomato varieties could benefit from nanoparticle fertilisers.
Tasty heirloom tomato varieties could soon see a return to our plates thanks to the promising antifungal properties of metal oxide nanoparticle fertilisers developed by US scientists.
Centuries of plant breeding mean we’ve grown accustomed to a narrow range of crops bred primarily for their disease resistance. But while we reap the benefits of greater yields and reliability, we’re missing out on a host of different flavours from less disease-hardy varieties.
Now a nanoparticle crop treatment developed by Wade Elmer and Jason White at Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, US, could give older tomato varieties – more susceptible to root pathogens such as wilt fungus – a helping hand. Applying copper and manganese oxide nanoparticles to the leaves of tomato plants grown in soil infected with the Verticillium wilt fungus increased fruit yields by up to 33% compared with untreated plants.
Read the full article in Chemistry World.