The use of nanoparticles is an important emerging extent of nanoscience and nanotechnology. Nano-sized metal nanoparticles have been widely studied for their applications in various fields including electronics, photonics, catalysis, medicine, food industry. Till now many metal nanoparticles have been synthesized such as silver, gold (Aljabali et al., 2018; Iyer and Panda, 2018), copper (Kimber et al., 2018), platinum (Syed and Ahmad, 2012; Raut et al., 2018), zirconium oxide (Park et al., 2005), zinc oxide (Sangeetha et al., 2011; Bhuyan et al., 2015), titanium dioxide (Sundrarajan and Gowri, 2011; Rajakumar et al., 2012). Among various metals, AgNPs are the material of choice of researchers due to their remarkable properties such as broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity, surface enhanced Raman scattering, catalytic activity, chemical stability and nonlinear optical behavior (Krutyakov et al., 2008). Broad-spectrum bactericidal and fungicidal activity of AgNPs has made them extremely popular component in the field of medicine, consumer products, and agriculture.
Agriculture is the backbone of the national economy in developing countries, nowadays it is facing major challenges, including changing climate, urbanization, sustainable use of natural resources and environmental issues like runoff and accumulation of pesticides and fertilizers (Ditta, 2012). Furthermore, there is continued stress on agricultural resources due to increasing population and future demand for food will increase tremendously while natural resources such as land, water, and soil fertility are limited (Ditta, 2012). With the advancement of technology, nanotechnology can help the agriculture sector by detecting and controlling plant diseases, pest control, increasing livestock production. Use of nano products and nanosystems in the agricultural sector may improve the crop productivity.
A number of reviews are published on the green synthesis of nanoparticles, though critical analysis of enormous information on part wise plant-mediated AgNPs synthesis with special emphasis on agricultural application is still missing. Therefore, this review article represents a systematic overview of green synthesis of AgNPs by various plant extracts and describes the mechanism of nanoparticles synthesis. Various analytical techniques utilized to characterize nanoparticles are also discussed. Finally, this review highlights the applications of biosynthesized AgNPs in the agriculture sector with short notes on its future prospects.