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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(12), 15100-15109; doi:10.3390/ijerph121214963

Assessment of the Phytotoxicity of Metal Oxide Nanoparticles on Two Crop Plants, Maize (Zea mays L.) and Rice (Oryza sativa L.)

1
Institute of Genetics and Cytology, Northeast Normal University, Changchun 130024, China
2
Key Laboratory of Molecular Epigenetics of MOE, Changchun 130024, China
3
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Stephenson Life Sciences Research Center, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019, USA
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Huang-Tsung Chang
Received: 8 September 2015 / Revised: 23 October 2015 / Accepted: 12 November 2015 / Published: 30 November 2015
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Abstract

In this study, the phytotoxicity of seven metal oxide nanoparticles(NPs)—titanium dioxide (nTiO2), silicon dioxide (nSiO2), cerium dioxide (nCeO2), magnetite (nFe3O4), aluminum oxide (nAl2O3), zinc oxide (nZnO) and copper oxide (nCuO)—was assessed on two agriculturally significant crop plants (maize and rice). The results showed that seed germination was not affected by any of the seven metal oxide NPs. However, at the concentration of 2000 mg·L−1, the root elongation was significantly inhibited by nCuO (95.73% for maize and 97.28% for rice), nZnO (50.45% for maize and 66.75% for rice). On the contrary, minor phytotoxicity of nAl2O3 was only observed in maize, and no obvious toxic effects were found in the other four metal oxide NPs. By further study we found that the phytotoxic effects of nZnO, nAl2O3 and nCuO (25 to 2000 mg·L1) were concentration dependent, and were not caused by the corresponding Cu2+, Zn2+ and Al3+ ions (0.11 mg·L1, 1.27 mg·L1 and 0.74 mg·L1, respectively). Furthermore, ZnO NPs (<50 nm) showed greater toxicity than ZnO microparticles(MPs)(<5 μm) to root elongation of both maize and rice. Overall, this study provided valuable information for the application of engineered NPs in agriculture and the assessment of the potential environmental risks. View Full-Text
Keywords: phytotoxicity; metal oxide nanoparticles; maize; rice; germination phytotoxicity; metal oxide nanoparticles; maize; rice; germination
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Yang, Z.; Chen, J.; Dou, R.; Gao, X.; Mao, C.; Wang, L. Assessment of the Phytotoxicity of Metal Oxide Nanoparticles on Two Crop Plants, Maize (Zea mays L.) and Rice (Oryza sativa L.). Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 15100-15109.

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