In Russia figured out how to protect crops without spraying chemicals

A unique means of protection of agricultural plants against pathogens has been developed by scientists of the Siberian Federal University (SFU). According to the authors, the new drug will allow to avoid expensive and environmentally damaging spraying pesticides. The results of the study presented in the journal International Journal of Biological Macromolecules.

Traditional methods of crop protection, as explained by experts, involves the processing of grain, the soil and plants with chemicals several times a season. In contrast, developed in the SFU tool once placed in the soil before planting, working the entire vegetative period.

The effect is achieved thanks to a special polymer developed by the laboratory of new biomaterials, SFU, under the leadership of doctor of biological Sciences Tatiana Volova. This material degrades in soil at a controlled rate, releasing the active ingredient gradually, which ensures the optimal regime of plant protection.

As emphasized by scientists, the release of active substance is in mini-doses, so that the toxins that repel and kill pathogenic fungi and weeds do not fall on the fruit and green parts of the plant.

"The traditional methods of treatment there are obvious drawbacks. Sprayed a few times over the summer, the chemicals washed away by rain and dispersed by wind, which is dangerous for the environment: over the last five years the population of bees, including domestic, have declined in agricultural regions, almost half due to the uncontrolled use of pesticides. In addition, multiple use of agricultural machinery increases production cost. Our facility is devoid of these shortcomings," said study co-author, researcher of the laboratory of biotechnology of new materials, Siberian Federal University Evgeny Kiselev.

The new drug, according to scientists, is already laboratory tested and checked for compliance with safety standards. Used toxins have demonstrated their effectiveness against a number of weeds and the pathogen most dangerous diseases of the cereal – Fusarium.

Trials are continuing on the basis of the Krasnoyarsk state agricultural University Krasnoyarsk research Institute of agriculture. The study was conducted under the guidance of a leading expert in the field of polymers and nanocomposites, honorary Professor, SFU Sabu Thomas.