Nanoscale zerovalent iron (nZVI) is the most widely used nanomaterial for environmental remediation. The impacts of nZVI on terrestrial organisms have been recently reported, and in particular, plant growth was promoted by nZVI treatment in various concentrations. Therefore, it is necessary to investigate the detailed physiological and biochemical responses of plants toward nZVI treatment for agricultural application. Here, the effects of nZVI on photosynthesis and related biochemical adaptation of soil-grown Arabidopsis thaliana
were examined. After treatment with 500 mg nZVI/kg soil, the plant biomass increased by 38% through enhanced photosynthesis, which was confirmed by the gas-exchange system, carbon isotope ratio and chlorophyll content analysis. Besides, the iron uptake of the plant increased in roots and leaves. The magnetic property measurements and transmission electron microscopy showed that the transformed particles were accumulated in parts of the plant tissues. The accumulation of carbohydrates such as glucose, sucrose and starch increased by the enhanced photosynthesis, and photosynthetic-related inorganic nutrients such as phosphorus, manganese and zinc maintained homeostasis, according to the increased iron uptake. These findings suggest that nZVI has additional or alternative benefits as a nano-fertilizer and a promoter of CO2
uptake in plants.
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