Journal of Alumni Association of Biotechnology (2021) 3(2):22-25
and its promising role in pesticide remediation
Preeti Maravi1*, Shweta Nistala1
1Department of Biotechnology,
Bharti Vishwavidyalaya, Durg, Chhattisgarh, India
Author’s Email- email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
*Corresponding Author Email- email@example.com
05 September 2021
Received in revised form
18 October 2021
nanoparticle; Bioreduction; Bioremediation; Pesticides
has gained broad attention of the scientific community worldwide due to
their inherent properties viz., surface
area, mobility, high reactivity and their extensive applicability. However, bio-inspired
synthesis of nanoparticles using different biological entities such as
plants, fungi, algae, bacteria and yeast has emerged as rapidly developing
research area. These biologically synthesized nanoparticles are being
continuously employed in different application mostly in remediation of
environmental contaminants and in biomedicine. Now a day, pesticide
remediation by using nano-biotechnology is being widely used. Hence, this
review has emphasized on the potential characteristics of nanoparticles,
their types and advantages. It has also highlighted the different approaches
for the green synthesis of nanoparticles and their application in pesticide remediation.
This review will further shape the future of the use of biogenic nanoparticle
as a safer measure in environmental clean-up.
Nanotechnology has attained remarkable attentiveness
in recent years due to their physiochemical properties and their extensive
usage in diverse fields such as environment, agriculture, and pharmacology (Saravanan
et al. 2021). The Professor Richard Feynman gave the first concept of
nanotechnology in his talk “There is plenty of room at the bottom” and the term
nanotechnology was coined by Professor Norio Taniguchi (Kumari et al. 2019).
Nano-bioremediation is an important and emerging branch
of nanotechnology as well as an economically feasible, environmental friendly
and sustainable option for the treatment of contaminants (inorganic and organic
pollutants, heavy metals, dye, pesticides) from the environment using green
synthesized nanomaterials (Kapoor et al. 2021; Saravanan et al. 2021). Biological
entities such as plants, bacteria, fungi and yeast used in the nanoparticle
synthesis are referred to as “Bio-nanofactories”. These biological entities are
composed of biomolecules and secrete proteins or enzymes that further leads to
the reduction of metal ions, thereby leading to the nanoparticle production. The
biogenic nanoparticles have some specific properties and can be utilized
without any adverse effect in catalysis and degradation of pollutants as
compared to the traditional methods (Kapoor et al. 2021).
Pesticides are widely used to
protect crop plants from insects and microbial pests. On the basis of chemical
composition, mode of action and targeted pests, pesticides are classified as
organochlorine, organophosphates, carbamate and pyrethroids; as systemic and
non-systemic; as insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, rodenticides,
bactericides, etc., respectively (Zacharia, 2011). The excess and improper
application of these synthetic chemicals is poisonous for the environment of
the applied sites and for non-targeted organisms including humans and beneficial
insects too. However, with the advent of nanotechnology, efficiency of
remediation of environment polluted with different contaminants has increased
Nanoparticles are usually ultrafine particle matter
whose size range varies from 1 to 100 nanometers (nm) (Khan et al. 2019). The
different characteristic properties are listed in Fig. 1.
Fig. 1: Different characteristics of nanoparticle
of Nanoparticle Biosynthesis
Biosynthesis of nanoparticles can follow either of
the two main ways:
a) Bottom-Up synthesis
b) Top-Down synthesis
Top-down approach is a conventional approach in
which a bulk material is sliced or cut down until it reaches the size of
nanoparticles. The methods like grinding/milling, chemical etching,
electro-explosion and laser ablation etc. are used in this top-down approach. Whereas, bottom-up approach refers to a method
of building up a nanoparticle atom by atom, molecule by molecule in order to
achieve desired properties. This includes sedimentation and reduction
techniques like spinning, template support synthesis, laser prolysis,
biochemical synthesis, biological synthesis, etc., (Khan et al. 2019). The
biological synthesis of nanoparticles can be achieved by biosorption method or
bioreduction method. The biosorption method involves the binding of metal
cations present in aqueous media to the cell wall of the organism. The
interaction between metal and cell wall component leads to stable nanoparticle formation.
The primary mechanisms for biosorption of metals onto microbial surface include
physiosorption, ion exchange, precipitation and complexation (Saravanan et al.
2021). However, in bioreduction method, chemical reduction of metal ions to
biologically stable form takes place with the utilization of microbes and their
enzymes which are inert and can be cautiously removed from contaminated
environment. Usually such bioreduction method occur in growth phase of
microbial culture but some of them were reported in stationary phase too or can
be produced extracellular by isolated microbial enzyme from growing culture.
The microbes are the biological entities that follow
more than one mechanism for production of nanoparticles. The biogenic
synthesis of nanoparticles is one of the green methods employed for maintaining
eco-friendly environment. For the biogenic nanomaterials synthesis, different
biological agents are used and they react differently with different metal
solutions through either intracellular process or extracellular process (Fariq
et al. 2017). The extracellular process is comparatively more popular than its
intracellular counterpart due to its low cost and least required downstream
processing (Mishra et al. 2014). One of the advantages of using the biologically
synthesized metallic nanoparticles over their chemical synthesis is that they
are more stable at room temperature for long duration (Balakrishnan et al.
2017). In connection to it, the various
parameters like characteristics and application of nanoparticles was
analysed by Saravanan et al. (2021). They
found that lack of mono-dispersity and prolonged duration in synthesis is few
of the limitations of biological synthesis process which can be overcome by optimizing
the reaction parameters, explicating the diverse microbial range and improving
the stability of the nanoparticles.
Kapoor et al. (2021) reported various microbial
factories for nanoparticle synthesis and their use in bioremediation techniques.
In this study they focused on the mechanism and application of biogenic
nanoparticles. Their study highlighted the use of advanced computational tools
and green chemistry to exploit the “omics” derived data for better
understanding of microbial processes. The list of different microbial species
like bacteria, fungi, algae, actinomycetes, etc., and their route in
synthesizing nanoparticle is given in Table
Advantages of Biogenic Nanoparticles
Nanoparticles are cheaper than nanoparticles synthesized using physico-chemical
methods as they employ biomolecules as reducing agents, thus eliminating the
requirement for expensive chemical reductants such as hydrazine. Although
nanoparticles synthesized using chemical methods are large in quantity, but
they produce toxic wastes that are harmful to the environment and human health.
On the other hand biogenic mechanism does not produce such harmful toxic
wastes. Biogenic nanoparticles are superior alternative to physicochemical
methods for the synthesis of nanoparticles in concern to human health,
environmental impact as well as cost (Fig. 2) (Kumari et al. 2019).
Fig. 2: Advantages of Nanoparticle
Table 1: List of Microbial Derived Nanoparticles
Types of nanoparticle
Mahanty et al.
Mahanty et al.
Noman et al.
Wang et al.
Kulkarni et al.
Nordmeier et al.
Bhargava et al.
of Nanoparticles for Pesticide Remediation
During remediation of pesticide in soil or water,
toxicity assessment is needed to directly assess the potential hazard of both
original pollutants and its metabolites. In order to overcome the food
starvation of increasing global population traditional farming methods are
altered. Modern agricultural practices include the usage of several herbicides,
pesticides, weedicides and chemical fertilizers. It resulted in increasing
dependence on agrochemicals. Although it made the crops free from insects and
pests, but resulted in ecosystem imbalance (Khan and Pathak 2020).
The widespread and inefficient use of pesticides
exceeds the soil’s self remediation capability and causes soil pollution. Hence,
an eco-friendly approach is needed to overcome the ill effects of accumulated
pesticide residues in environment. Bioremediation is one such alternative
treatment and various bioremediation techniques are continuously been used up
for environmental cleanup. However, combination of bioremediation and
nanotechnology is emerging as a new approach and will give better remediation
efficiency as compared to other treatments. This nano-bioremediation is being
used for treatment of different pesticides. In one of the study by Zubaidi et
al. (2021), 40% remediation efficiency of Chlorpyriphos pesticide after 7 days nanoparticle
treatment was observed. The degradation of organophosphorus pesticide using biogenic
zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles. In their
research work nanoparticles were synthesized by green method and characterized
using UV-Visible spectroscopy, Scanning Electron Microscope, Fourier Infrared
spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction in order to know their optical, morphological
and physical properties. Zinc nitrate hexahydrate was used as a precursor in
green synthesis of ZnO nanoparticles. ZnO assisted degradation assessment in
soil amended with 0.1% of chlorpyrifos was analysed using UV-VIS spectroscopy.
And on the eighth day of incubation, about 82.46% degradation was observed.
Similarly the elimination of diazinon and butachlor from aqueous solution using
Titanium dioxide (TiO2) and ZnO nano-photocatalysts was observed and
assessed by Nozhat et al. (2018). They conducted their study under UV radiation
and the effects of different parameters such as pH (3-11), adsorbent quantity
(2-4 g L-1), contact time (0-60 min), the initial concentration of
pesticides (1-100 ppm), and the luminescence of (6 and 18 watts) were
investigated on the removal efficiency. The results unveiled that the
photocatalytic process of ZnO nanoparticle had a higher efficiency in the
degradation of butachlor. In contrast, the photocatalytic process of TiO2
nanoparticle had higher performance with the diazinon.
and future prospects
The recent research effort in the area of
biologically synthesized nanoparticles and their application in remediation or
degradation of pesticides have been discussed in this review. The use of bio
resources such as microbial enzymes and microbes in the nanoparticles synthesis
is a sustainable approach which could lead to nearly zero emission of toxic
chemicals. Pesticide remediation by employing different biosynthesized
nanoparticles has been discussed and the results revealed it as an ecofriendly
and economically viable alternatives to available chemical methods. However,
further investigations in the depth of biosynthetic pathways of microorganisms
for nanoparticle production are needed. Also, the need in employing genetic
engineering techniques to further improvise the microbial species used as
nanofactories may be adopted which can open new avenues in industrial and
environmental sectors for production of products and remediation of
Conflict of Interest
authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.
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