A novel technique using SWCNTs to enhanced development and root growth of fig plants (Ficus carica)

D. Flores, J.S. Chaves, R. Chacón, A. Schmidt
Instituto Tecnologico de Costa Rica, CR

Keywords: CNT, SWCNT, agriculture, nanotechnology, plant, growth

Summary:

The overall goal of this project is to look at possible mechanisms to explain the effects of SWCNTs in plant growth and its antimicrobial properties in order to reduce the use of harmful chemicals in agriculture. We analyzed how SWCNTs have the versatility to go through the wall and the cellular membrane of plants, helping the plant to have a better system of transport of nutrients to further distances inside of it. The plants we use were fig plants growth in the laboratory. All of the plants used were syngeneic showing about 2.5cm to3cm in height. After inoculating different concentrations of SWNTs (2μg and 6μg) with the plants, after two weeks we noticed that the root growth and the overall length of the roots plus the length of the stem from the plants treated with SWCNT were significantly better than those from the control group. In this study we also describe a novel method to disperse the tubes using a biological agent. This method of dispersion showed very effective in that it made the tubes hydrophilic and easy to work with and it improved their purity. This work provides more insight on the potential use of SWNTs in agriculture.