Development of Novel Microparticle and Nanoparticle-Based Controlled Release Formulations for Agriculture
Increasing the productivity of agricultural fields is essential to secure our existing food supplies and provide for the growing world population. In this context, pesticides and fertilizers play an essential role in both increasing crop yields, as well as enhancing crop defenses against environmental stresses such as drought, pests, or diseases. However, the application of existing chemical pesticides and fertilizers can lead to eventual crop resistance as well as potential downstream environmental issues. Instead, Petro-Canada has recently developed a new category of plant immune response triggers which activate a plants native immune system to induce a range of beneficial responses, including greater resistance to environmental stresses (e.g. fungal pathogens). Through this collaboration with Dr. Todd Hoare's lab at McMaster, these immune response triggers will be formulated into nano/microparticle-based controlled release vehicles to enable improved retention in the soil and higher effectiveness at lower applied doses, reducing product cost to facilitate commercialization.