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Nanotechnology Boosts Plant Growth

NANOTECHNOLOGY could help crops grow faster, and bigger, by increasing their ability to absorb water.

Seeds surrounded by carbon nanotubes can germinate twice as fast, and weigh twice as much, as those in normal conditions. Researchers from the University of Arkansas measured germination of tomato seeds in agar, surrounded by differing concentrations of carbon nanotubes (ACS Nano, DOI: 10.1021/nn900887m). 

“The activated process of water uptake could be responsible for the significantly faster germination rates and higher biomass production,” the scientists claim. They believe that nanotubes penetrate the thick seed coat, speeding up the transfer of water.  Coming in the wake of dramatic reports from the Royal Society, these findings could help produce greater crop yields in the future.