Special Issues

Biofertilizers and Nano Fertilizers as Tools to Increase Agriculture Resilience and Sustainability

Submission Deadline: 15 May 2024 (closed) View: 57

Guest Editors

Dr. Leo Sabatino, Department of Agricultural, Food and Forest Sciences, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy
Dr. Georgia Ntatsi, Laboratory of Vegetable Production, Department of Crop Science, Agricultural University of Athens, Athens, Greece
Dr. Beppe Benedetto Consentino, Department of Agricultural, Food and Forest Sciences, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy


Conventional agriculture has led to an increasing dependence on synthetic fertilizers which in turn causes pollution of air and groundwater through overexploitation and misuse. Poor agronomic practices gave resulted in decreased soil fertility, erosion, nutrient loss, toxic element accumulation, and waterlogging. Consequently, there has been a growing interest in the development of efficient and environmentally friendly fertilization alternatives.

Biofertilizers containing live microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, algae have becoming increasingly popular in many countries around the globe as means to restore and increase microbial activity in the soil and promote soil fertility. Biofertilizers are a component of the Integrated Soil Fertility Management strategy, which includes nutrient management based on conservation of natural resources, biological nitrogen fixation and increased efficiency of inputs. The primary benefit of the use of biofertilizers is the long-term improvement of soil fertility precisely through the use of various beneficial microorganisms. These, in fact, once inoculated, can multiply and thus keep the soil naturally fertile and healthy. The agricultural practice of fertilization thus becomes sustainable, renewable and cost-effective. Biofertilizers can be applied to the seed, plant surface or directly to the soil. Among the most important natural processes that occur due to the biological activity of these microorganisms are nitrogen fixation, phosphorus solubilization, the release of substances that regulate plant growth and the biodegradation of soil organic matter.

The modes of action of biofertilizers differ depending on the microorganism and the crop, constituting them suitable for use alone or in combination with each other. Another promising advancement in the fertilization sector is the use of nanotechnology.

Nanotechnology represents the latest frontier in technological innovation and is now used in various manufacturing sectors and in agriculture. The application of this advanced technology the production of a colloidal suspension liquid fertilizer based on nutrients in nano form. The nutrients in nanofertilizers consist of solid particles ranging in size from 1 to 100 nm. Given the EU goal of 20% less fertilizer application by 2030, nanofertilizers are gaining increasing research attention as their emerging is aiming to maximize plant nutrient use efficiency under minimal inputs. Nanofertilizers have several advantages over traditional fertilizers, such as their high specific surface area, which allows for increased contact with plant roots and improved nutrient uptake. Additionally, the use of nanofertilizers can reduce fertilizer leaching and runoff, which can have harmful effects on the environment. The development and use of nanofertilizers in agriculture could lead to more sustainable and efficient crop production, helping to achieve the EU's goals for environmental sustainability. NPK nanofertilizers are primarily used to optimize plant nutrient uptake and improve soil physicochemical properties with minimal environmental impact. In contrast, micronutrient nanofertilizers, usually applied as nanoparticles, serve mainly as plant growth-promoting agents or as a sustainable tool for alleviating biotic/abiotic stress tolerance in plants.

In the current Special Issue, we invite researchers and experts to contribute original researches, critical reviews, and opinions exploring innovative tools and strategies to improve agriculture resources use efficiency, enhance crop resilience and increase plant tolerance to abiotic stress. We welcome contributions on a range of topics including integrated and organic crop management, soilless culture, novel biostimulants, biofertilizers, nanofertilizers, and nano-biofortification.


biofertilizers, nano fertilizers, environmental impact, sustainability, climate change, nutrient uptake

Published Papers

  • Open Access


    Optimizing Sorghum Productivity Using Balanced Fertilizers on Dryland

    Samijan Samijan, Endah Nurwahyuni, Sri Minarsih, Agus Supriyo, Sodiq Jauhari, Yulis Hindarwati, Meinarti Norma Setiapermas, Raden Heru Praptana, Endah Winarni, Vina Eka Aristya
    Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany, DOI:10.32604/phyton.2024.048339
    (This article belongs to the Special Issue: Biofertilizers and Nano Fertilizers as Tools to Increase Agriculture Resilience and Sustainability)
    Abstract Sorghum is the fifth most required cereal crop globally. Sorghum bicolor has the advantage of being adaptive to both lowland and dryland, with drought-tolerant and wide adaptability. The low nutrient availability in dryland requires additional effective fertilizers to increase sorghum productivity. The research aimed to assess the application of organic, inorganic, and biofertilizers for sorghum productivity on dryland. Research in Central Java, Indonesia as dryland sorghum areas, from November 2022 to February 2023. The experiment cooperates with the farmers in a split-plot design, the main plot was two varieties and subplots of four fertilizers. The enhanced… More >

  • Open Access


    Photosynthetic Gas Exchange and Nitrogen Assimilation in Green Bean Plants Supplied with Two Sources of Silicon

    Julio C. Anchondo-Páez, Esteban Sánchez, Carlos A. Ramírez-Estrada, Alondra Salcido-Martínez, Erick H. Ochoa-Chaparro
    Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany, Vol.93, No.5, pp. 963-980, 2024, DOI:10.32604/phyton.2024.048742
    (This article belongs to the Special Issue: Biofertilizers and Nano Fertilizers as Tools to Increase Agriculture Resilience and Sustainability)
    Abstract Beans contain a wide range of vitamins, proteins, calcium, and zinc which make them an important food source for many countries. To meet the demand for bean production worldwide, large amounts of fertilizers and pesticides are used. However, the cost of production and environmental impact increases. To produce food sustainably, the use of beneficial nutrients such as silicon as a biostimulant has been proposed. However, information about the effect of different sources of silicon on the metabolism of bean plants is scarce. Bean plants cv. Strike were grown in pots for 60 days and the… More >

Share Link