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Open AccessArticle

Effect of Foliar Spray Application of Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles on Quantitative, Nutritional, and Physiological Parameters of Foxtail Millet (Setaria italica L.) under Field Conditions

1
Department of Soil Science and Geology, Faculty of Agrobiology and Food Resources, Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra, Tr. A. Hlinku 2, 949 76 Nitra, Slovakia
2
Nanotechnology Centre, VŠB Technical University of Ostrava, 17. listopadu 15/2172, 708 00 Ostrava-Poruba, Czech Republic
3
Department of Crop Production and Grassland Ecosystems, Faculty of Agrobiology and Food Resources, Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra, Tr. A. Hlinku 2, 949 76 Nitra, Slovakia
4
Institute of Laboratory Research on Geomaterials, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Comenius University in Bratislava, Ilkovičova 3278/6, 841 04 Karlova Ves, Bratislava, Slovakia
5
Institute of Electrical Engineering, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Dúbravská cesta 9, 841 04 Bratislava, Slovakia
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Department of Chemistry, Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies, AP IIIT, Nuzvid, Krishna District 521202, India
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Department of Biosciences, Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies, AP IIIT, Nuzvid, Krishna District 521202, India
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School of Ecology and Environmental Science, Yunnan University, 2 Cuihubei Lu, Kunming 650 091, Yunnan, China
9
Department of Earth and Environmental Studies, Montclair State University, 1 Normal Ave, Montclair, NJ 070 43, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(11), 1559; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9111559
Received: 27 September 2019 / Revised: 30 October 2019 / Accepted: 1 November 2019 / Published: 3 November 2019
It has been shown that the foliar application of inorganic nano-materials on cereal plants during their growth cycle enhances the rate of plant productivity by providing a micro-nutrient source. We therefore studied the effects of foliarly applied ZnO nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) on Setaria italica L. foxtail millet’s quantitative, nutritional, and physiological parameters. Scanning electron microscopy showed that the ZnO NPs have an average particle size under 20 nm and dominant spherically shaped morphology. Energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry then confirmed ZnO NP homogeneity, and X-ray diffraction verified their high crystalline and wurtzite-structure symmetry. Although plant height, thousand grain weight, and grain yield quantitative parameters did not differ statistically between ZnO NP-treated and untreated plants, the ZnO NP-treated plant grains had significantly higher oil and total nitrogen contents and significantly lower crop water stress index (CWSI). This highlights that the slow-releasing nano-fertilizer improves plant physiological properties and various grain nutritional parameters, and its application is therefore especially beneficial for progressive nanomaterial-based industries.
Keywords: foliar application; zinc-oxide nanoparticles; foxtail millet; quantitative, nutritional, and physiological parameters; nano-fertilizers foliar application; zinc-oxide nanoparticles; foxtail millet; quantitative, nutritional, and physiological parameters; nano-fertilizers
MDPI and ACS Style

Kolenčík, M.; Ernst, D.; Komár, M.; Urík, M.; Šebesta, M.; Dobročka, E.; Černý, I.; Illa, R.; Kanike, R.; Qian, Y.; Feng, H.; Orlová, D.; Kratošová, G. Effect of Foliar Spray Application of Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles on Quantitative, Nutritional, and Physiological Parameters of Foxtail Millet (Setaria italica L.) under Field Conditions. Nanomaterials 2019, 9, 1559.

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