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Responsive Polymers for Crop Protection

Research and Development Institute for Plant Protection, 8 Ion Ionescu de la Brad Blvd., 013813 Bucharest, Romania
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: National Research and Development Institute for Electrochemistry and Condensed Matter, 1 Plautius Andronescu Street, 300224 Timisoara, Romania.
Polymers 2010, 2(3), 229-251;
Received: 15 July 2010 / Revised: 15 August 2010 / Accepted: 18 August 2010 / Published: 19 August 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Stimuli-Responsive (co)Polymers)
PDF [1119 KB, uploaded 19 August 2010]


This review outlines the responsive polymer methods currently in use with their potential application to plant protection and puts forward plant-specific mechanisms as stimuli in newly devised methods for smart release of crop protection agents (CPAs). CPAs include chemicals (fungicides, insecticides, herbicides), biochemicals (antibiotics, RNA-based vaccines for plant viruses), semiochemicals (pheromones, repellents, allomones), microbial pesticides, growth regulators (insect and plant) or micronutrients, all with crop protection effects. This appraisal focuses on emerging uses of polymer nano-encapsulated CPAs. Firstly, the most interesting advances in controlled release methods are critically discussed with their advantages and drawbacks. Secondly, several plant-specific stimuli-based smart methods are anticipated for use alongside the polymer nano- or micro-capsules. These new CPA release methods are designed to (i) protect plants against infection produced by fungi or bacteria, and (ii) apply micro-nutrients when the plants need it the most. Thus, we foresee (i) the responsive release of nano- encapsulated bio-insecticides regulated by plant stress enzymes, and (ii) the delivery of micro-nutrients synchronized by the nature or intensity of plant root exudates. Such continued advances of nano-scale smart polymer-based CPAs for the protection of crops herald a “small revolution” for the benefit of sustainable agriculture. View Full-Text
Keywords: responsive polymers; crop protection agent (CPA); CPA nanocapsule; nano-science; nanotechnology; plant-specific stimuli; intelligent self-regulated release responsive polymers; crop protection agent (CPA); CPA nanocapsule; nano-science; nanotechnology; plant-specific stimuli; intelligent self-regulated release

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MDPI and ACS Style

Peteu, S.F.; Oancea, F.; Sicuia, O.A.; Constantinescu, F.; Dinu, S. Responsive Polymers for Crop Protection. Polymers 2010, 2, 229-251.

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