Population growth and the need for increased agricultural productivity pose a global problem. Therefore, the development of green compounds to ensure agricultural sustainability is an urgent necessity. Surfactant compounds hold significant commercial importance due to their diverse industrial uses. However, the synthetic origin of these agents limits their commercial application due to their toxicity. As a result, extensive research has focused on the production of microbial-originated green surfactants, known as biosurfactants, over the past fifteen years. These biomolecules not only offer a green alternative for agriculture but also exhibit reduced toxicity and excellent stability under specific environmental conditions. Biosurfactants can lower surface tension more effectively than synthetic surfactants. With properties such as detergency and foam formation, biosurfactants are suitable for various agricultural applications, particularly in pesticide and agrochemical formulations. They can function as biopesticides to manage pests, pathogens, phytopathogenic fungi, and weeds due to their antimicrobial activity. Moreover, plants can benefit from biosurfactant molecules and microorganisms as nutrients. They can also aid efficiently in the distribution of micronutrients and metals in the soil. They also stimulate plant immunity and are utilized for soil hydrophilization to ensure proper moisture levels and uniform fertilizer distribution. This review aims to provide valuable insights into the role and properties of biosurfactants as agricultural adjuvants, fostering the development of sustainable formulations to replace the chemical surfactants used in pesticides. For this purpose, the general aspects of global agricultural activity are initially described, followed by a discussion of pesticides, including herbicides, fungicides, and insecticide products. Next, the properties of chemical surfactants are discussed and the use of green surfactants, with emphasis on microbial biosurfactants, is demonstrated. The application of biosurfactants in the agricultural industry and trends are addressed and prospects for the application of these agents are discussed.

Biosurfactants: Promising Biomolecules for Agricultural Applications

Converti, Attilio;
2024-01-01

Abstract

Population growth and the need for increased agricultural productivity pose a global problem. Therefore, the development of green compounds to ensure agricultural sustainability is an urgent necessity. Surfactant compounds hold significant commercial importance due to their diverse industrial uses. However, the synthetic origin of these agents limits their commercial application due to their toxicity. As a result, extensive research has focused on the production of microbial-originated green surfactants, known as biosurfactants, over the past fifteen years. These biomolecules not only offer a green alternative for agriculture but also exhibit reduced toxicity and excellent stability under specific environmental conditions. Biosurfactants can lower surface tension more effectively than synthetic surfactants. With properties such as detergency and foam formation, biosurfactants are suitable for various agricultural applications, particularly in pesticide and agrochemical formulations. They can function as biopesticides to manage pests, pathogens, phytopathogenic fungi, and weeds due to their antimicrobial activity. Moreover, plants can benefit from biosurfactant molecules and microorganisms as nutrients. They can also aid efficiently in the distribution of micronutrients and metals in the soil. They also stimulate plant immunity and are utilized for soil hydrophilization to ensure proper moisture levels and uniform fertilizer distribution. This review aims to provide valuable insights into the role and properties of biosurfactants as agricultural adjuvants, fostering the development of sustainable formulations to replace the chemical surfactants used in pesticides. For this purpose, the general aspects of global agricultural activity are initially described, followed by a discussion of pesticides, including herbicides, fungicides, and insecticide products. Next, the properties of chemical surfactants are discussed and the use of green surfactants, with emphasis on microbial biosurfactants, is demonstrated. The application of biosurfactants in the agricultural industry and trends are addressed and prospects for the application of these agents are discussed.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/1164238
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