Semester of Graduation

Summer 2022


Master of Science in Biological and Agricultural Engineering (MSBAE)


Biological & Agricultural Engineering

Document Type



The majority of applied agrochemicals are lost to the environment due to their poor adhesion to plant tissues, resulting in multiple applications and subsequent environmental toxicity. This thesis focuses on reducing these consequences by entrapping agrochemicals in polymeric nanoparticles (PNPs). In the first section, zein nanoparticles (ZNPs) with entrapped methoxyfenozide (MFZ) (209.0 ± 5.6 nm, -42.1 ± 2.1 mV) were synthesized and used to facilitate the translocation of MFZ to the leaves and stems of soybean plants, as measured by LC-MS, under hydroponic conditions. The agrochemical concentration increased within the leaves over time from 0.04 to 2.35 μg/g at 0.2 mg/ml ZNPs exposure, compared to free MFZ (-1and 0.037 h-1, respectively). Soybean (Glycine max) seeds were treated with nanoparticle suspensions before inoculation with the fungus, Rhizoctonia Solani, and sowed in the field to assess antifungal efficacy by yield and stand per row feet. AZO entrapped ZNP produced the greatest yield (41.15 bushels), followed by empty LNP (40.35 bushels) for inoculated samples, comparable to a commercial formulation, Dynasty®. All treatments, excluding empty ZNP, resulted in a statistically significant increase in yield compared to the non-treated plants. The yield was not affected by treatments in non-inoculated plants. The results of this thesis prove that ZNPs and LNPs may be used as an alternative and sustainable solution for the delivery of various agrochemicals due to their biodegradable and tunable characteristics.



Committee Chair

Sabliov, Cristina



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