CORDIS - EU research results

Biostimulants nanoencapsulation to increase yield under drought stress

Project description

Increasing the efficacy of biostimulants to aid crop performance

Biostimulants are known for being an environmentally friendly alternative to current fertilisers and plant protection products in the market. They can help plants grow by enhancing nutrient uptake as well as protect the health of crops by improving their tolerance to stress. The EU-funded NANOSTIMULANTS project aims to increase the effectiveness of biostimulants by developing a Nanostimulant – a nanoparticle that encloses a biostimulant. Key to achieving this will be advanced nanoencapsulation techniques.


A biostimulant (BS) is understood as any compound, microorganism or mixture of them, with the exception of fertilizers and pesticides1. BSs are commonly ecofriendly substances and inert for the ecosystems, their utilization is widely reported in the literature as enhancing tolerance against stress or increasing yield in the field2. Regarding plant health, BSs are presented as a good alternative to achieve the yearly EU goals announced in the communication: “A Farm to Fork Strategy for a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food system” 3. A good example of this way of thinking is the research conducted by the experienced researcher (ER) of this proposal, through utilizing L-pyroglutamic acid 4 (Pyr), which is able to save 30% of water requirements, reaching higher yields. However, to be effective, weekly treatments of 500 g per hectare are required. These involve an extra cost per hectare of 20€ each week to reduce watering by 30% with some losses in yield. One of the main reasons is probably the easy degradability of BSs. Indeed, application of pure bioactive compounds is also very limited due to their fast release, low solubility, and poor bioavailability5. An alternative to counteract these disadvantages is nanoencapsulation6. The present proposal is a novel interdisciplinary approach to this, which aims to multiply BS effectiveness by constructing a Nanostimulant (nanoparticle that encloses a BS). It updates traditional BS applications in the field by using the most advanced nanoencapsulation (NE) techniques.


Universidade da Madeira
Net EU contribution
€ 147 815,04
Praça do Município
9000-081 Funchal

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Região Autónoma da Madeira Região Autónoma da Madeira Região Autónoma da Madeira
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 147 815,04