Affiliation: Department of Laser Applications in Metrology, Photochemistry and Agriculture. National Institute of Laser Enhanced Science (NILES), Cairo University, Egypt. 12613.
This study was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of zinc nanofertilizer strategy on sweet basil yield, through alone application or combined with pre-sowing laser irradiation. Furthermore, evaluate the growth of plant and the level of active essential oil constituents. Zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles (NPs) were synthesized, and transmission electron microscope revealed particle size of approximately 10.5-15.5 nm. ZnO NPs were applied to sweet basil plants by foliar spray at varying concentrations (10, 20 and 30 mg/L); He Ne laser of power 3mW was used for red light irradiation of sweet basil seeds for 2 min. exposure time. Total chlorophyll, total carbohydrate, essential oil levels, zinc content, plant height, branches/plant and fresh weight were measured.
In general, the combined foliar spray application of ZnO nanofertilizer with pre-sowing He Ne laser irradiation showed more effectiveness than ZnO nanofertilizer alone and 20mg/L concentration gave the highest results of all measured traits. Statistical analysis (t-test) showed significant differences among the effects of the various concentrations of zinc oxide NPs on these attributes. The results showed an inverse relationship between the total carbohydrate content and the percentage of essential oil in the leaves. Together these findings support the usefulness and effectiveness of zinc oxide nanofertilizer and laser irradiation treatment to enhance the growth and yield of sweet basil plants. The article presents some promising patents on ZnO nanofertilizer and He Ne laser irradiation.