Special Issue "The Genetic Changes Induced by Engineered Manufactured Nanomaterials (EMNs)"

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991). This special issue belongs to the section "Biology and Medicines".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Marta Marmiroli
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Chemistry, Life Sciences and Environmental Sustainability, University of Parma, Parco Area delle Scienze 33/A, 43124 Parma, Italy
Interests: biotechnology; nanotechnology; bio-nanotechnology; phytoremediation; plant stress; heavy metals and metalloids; biochar
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The possibility that engineered manufactured nanomaterials (ENMs) can be harmful to the genetic materials of living individuals has been raised by several experiments, but it is, however, still controversial. In fact, there is also evidence that nanoparticles are not genotoxic and do not interfere with the genetic materials of organisms. It is of extreme importance to establish which nanomaterials have the potential to exert harmful effects on DNA in any type of living organisms, from simple prokaryotes to complex eukaryotes, starting from model organisms.

The aims and scopes of this Special Issue are to (1) highlight the research applications that find out which ENMs are genotoxic and which are the more susceptible organisms or cell lines, and (2) to pinpoint reliable methods to establish the genotoxicity of ENMs.

Dr. Marta Marmiroli
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Engineered manufactured nanomaterials (ENMs)
  • Genotoxicity
  • DNA fingerprinting
  • Model organisms
  • Genomic interaction
  • Proteomics
  • Metabolomics

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Graphitic Carbon Nitride (C3N4) Reduces Cadmium and Arsenic Phytotoxicity and Accumulation in Rice (Oryza sativa L.)
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(4), 839; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11040839 - 25 Mar 2021
Viewed by 311
Abstract
The present study investigated the role of graphitic carbon nitride (C3N4) in alleviating cadmium (Cd)- and arsenic (As)-induced phytotoxicity to rice (Oryza sativa L.). A high-temperature pyrolysis was used to synthesize the C3N4, which [...] Read more.
The present study investigated the role of graphitic carbon nitride (C3N4) in alleviating cadmium (Cd)- and arsenic (As)-induced phytotoxicity to rice (Oryza sativa L.). A high-temperature pyrolysis was used to synthesize the C3N4, which was characterized by transmission electron microscopy, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, and dynamic light scattering. Rice seedlings were exposed to C3N4 at 50 and 250 mg/L in half-strength Hoagland’s solution amended with or without 10 mg/L Cd or As for 14 days. Both Cd and As alone resulted in 26–38% and 49–56% decreases in rice root and shoot biomass, respectively. Exposure to 250 mg/L C3N4 alone increased the root and shoot fresh biomass by 17.5% and 25.9%, respectively. Upon coexposure, Cd + C3N4 and As + C3N4 alleviated the heavy metal-induced phytotoxicity and increased the fresh weight by 26–38% and 49–56%, respectively. Further, the addition of C3N4 decreased Cd and As accumulation in the roots by 32% and 25%, respectively, whereas the metal contents in the shoots were 30% lower in the presence of C3N4. Both As and Cd also significantly altered the macronutrient (K, P, Ca, S, and Mg) and micronutrient (Cu, Fe, Zn, and Mn) contents in rice, but these alterations were not evident in plants coexposed to C3N4. Random amplified polymorphic DNA analysis suggests that Cd significantly altered the genomic DNA of rice roots, while no difference was found in shoots. The presence of C3N4 controlled Cd and As uptake in rice by regulating transport-related genes. For example, the relative expression of the Cd transporter OsIRT1 in roots was upregulated by approximately threefold with metal exposure, but C3N4 coamendment lowered the expression. Similar results were evident in the expression of the As transporter OsNIP1;1 in roots. Overall, these findings facilitate the understanding of the underlying mechanisms by which carbon-based nanomaterials alleviate contaminant-induced phyto- and genotoxicity and may provide a new strategy for the reduction of heavy metal contamination in agriculture. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Comparative Analysis of Proteins Regulated during Cadmium Sulfide Quantum Dots Response in Arabidopsis thaliana Wild Type and Tolerant Mutants
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(3), 615; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11030615 - 01 Mar 2021
Viewed by 403
Abstract
In previous work, two independent Arabidopsis thaliana Ac/Ds transposon insertional mutant lines, atnp01 and atnp02, were identified that showed a higher level of tolerance than the wild type (wt) line to cadmium sulfide quantum dots (CdS QDs). The tolerance response was characterized at [...] Read more.
In previous work, two independent Arabidopsis thaliana Ac/Ds transposon insertional mutant lines, atnp01 and atnp02, were identified that showed a higher level of tolerance than the wild type (wt) line to cadmium sulfide quantum dots (CdS QDs). The tolerance response was characterized at physiological, genetic and transcriptomic levels. In this work, a comparative analysis was performed on protein extracts from plantlets of the two mutants and of wt, each treated with 80 mg L−1 CdS QDs. A comparative protein analysis was performed by 2D-PAGE, and proteins were characterized by MALDI-TOF/TOF mass spectrometry. Of 250 proteins identified from all three lines, 98 showed significant changes in relative abundance between control and CdS QD-treated plantlets. The wt, atnp01, and atnp02 control-treated pairs respectively showed 61, 31, and 31 proteins with differential expression. The two mutants had a different response to treatment in terms of type and quantity of up- and downregulated proteins. This difference became more striking when compared to wt. A network analysis of the proteins differentially expressed in atnp01 and atnp02 included several of those encoded by putative genes accommodating the transposons, which were responsible for regulation of some proteins identified in this study. These included nifu-like protein 3 (Nfu3), involved in chloroplast assembly, elongator complex 3 (Elo3), involved in transcriptional elongation, magnesium-chelate subunit-2 (Chli2), involved in chlorophyll biosynthesis, and protein phosphatase 2C (PP2C) which mediates abiotic stress response. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Single and Repeated Applications of Cerium Oxide Nanoparticles Differently Affect the Growth and Biomass Accumulation of Silene flos-cuculi L. (Caryophyllaceae)
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(1), 229; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11010229 - 16 Jan 2021
Viewed by 425
Abstract
Cerium oxide nanoparticles (nCeO2) have a wide variety of applications in industry. Models demonstrated that nCeO2 can reach environmental compartments. Studies regarding the relationships between plants and nCeO2 considered only crop species, whereas a relevant [...] Read more.
Cerium oxide nanoparticles (nCeO2) have a wide variety of applications in industry. Models demonstrated that nCeO2 can reach environmental compartments. Studies regarding the relationships between plants and nCeO2 considered only crop species, whereas a relevant knowledge gap exists regarding wild plant species. Specimens of Silene flos-cuculi (Caryophyllaceae) were grown in greenhouse conditions in a substrate amended with a single dose (D1) and two and three doses (D2 and D3) of 20 mg kg−1 and 200 mg kg−1nCeO2 suspensions, respectively. sp-ICP-MS and ICP-MS data demonstrated that nCeO2 was taken up by plant roots and translocated towards aerial plant fractions. Biometric variables showed that plants responded negatively to the treatments with a shortage in biomass of roots and stems. Although not at relevant concentrations, Ce was accumulated mainly in roots and plant leaves. Full article
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Comparative analysis of proteins regulated during cadmium sulphide quantum dots response in Arabidopsis thaliana wild type and tolerant mutants
Authors: Gallo Valentina, Villani Marco, Zappettini Andrea, Marmiroli Nelson, Marmiroli Marta Valentina Gallo1, Andrea Zappettini2, Marco Villani2, Nelson Marmiroli 1,3, Marta Marmiroli 1 *
Affiliation: 1 Department of Chemistry, Life Sciences and Environmental Sustainability, University of Parma, 4 Parma, Italy 2 Institute of Materials for Electronics and Magnetism (IMEM), National Research Council (CNR), 6 Parma, Italy 3 The Italian National Interuniversity Consortium for Environmental Sciences (CINSA), Parma, Italy
Abstract: Understanding the interaction between plants and engineered nanomaterials (ENM) is of relevance as among the latter are large applications in agriculture whereas others are more suitable for industry and risk to become environmental pollutants. In a previous work, two independent A. thaliana Ac/Ds transposons insertional mutants, atnp01 and atnp02, displaying a greater level of tolerance than the wild type plant to cadmium sulphide quantum dots (CdS QDs) were isolated and the tolerance response was characterized at physiological, genetic and transcriptomic levels. In this work, a comparative analysis was performed on crude protein extracts, obtained from plantlets of the two mutants and of wild type, grown on agarized MS, treated with 80 mg/L-1 CdS QDs. A comparative protein analysis was performed by 2D- PAGE and proteins more relevant were characterized by MALDI-TOF/TOF mass spectrometry. The results obtained showed that the two mutants had a different response to treatments in terms of quantity and quality of up and down regulated proteins. This difference becomes more striking when considering the wild type for comparison. A network analysis of the differentially regulated proteins involved some of those encoded by putative genes affected by transposition in atnp01 and atnp02 and showed that the genes visited by the transposons are responsible for the regulation of some proteins found in this study like NFU3 (Nifu-like protein 3), involved in chloroplast assembly, ELO3 (Elongator Complex 3), involved in transcriptional elongation, CHLI2 (magnesium-chelate subunit2) involved in chlorophyll biosynthesis, and PP2C (Protein phosphatase 2C) that mediates abiotic stress response.

Title: A multi-target approach to investigate the potential of “genotoxicity-free” nanoparticles for environmental remediation
Authors: Margherita Bernardeschi1★, Patrizia Guidi1★, Mara Palumbo1, Massimo Genovese2, Michela Alfè3, Valentina Gargiulo3, Paolo Lucchesi1, Vittoria Scarcelli1, Elisa Bergami4, Barbara Bonelli5, Ilaria Corsi4, Giada Frenzilli1*
Affiliation: 1 Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Section of Applied Biology and Genetics. University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy; [email protected] (P.G); [email protected] (M.B.); [email protected] (M.P.); [email protected] (V.S.); [email protected] (P.L.); [email protected] (G.F.) 2 Department of Experimental and Clinical Biomedical Sciences “Mario Serio”, University of Florence, Florence, Italy; [email protected] 3 Institute of Science and Technology for Sustainable Energy and Mobility STEMS-CNR. Naples, Italy, [email protected], [email protected] 4 Department of Applied Science and Technology, Politecnic of Turin, Italy, [email protected] 5 Department of Physical, Earth and Environmental Sciences and INSTM Local Unit, University of Siena, Siena, Italy; [email protected] ★Both authors have equally contributed to this manuscript
Abstract: Benzo(a)pyrene (B(a)P) is a well-known genotoxic agent, whose removal from environmental matrices is mandatory, as well as the setting up of a cleaning strategy harmless for human and environmental health. The potential application of nanoparticles (NPs) in the remediation of polluted environments is of increasing interest. Genotoxicity of titanium dioxide (n-TiO2) in two crystalline forms (pure anatase and a mixture of anatase and rutile) and carbon black-derived hydrophilic NPs (HNP) was investigated; their potential use in reducing organic contaminant-induced genotoxicity was also assessed. Mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis) gill biopsies were in vitro exposed to B(a)P (2 μg/ml) alone and in combination with the selected NPs (50 µg/ml n-TiO2, 10 µg/ml HNP). Primary DNA damage was evaluated through Comet assay. Micronucleated cells and morphological nuclear abnormalities were assessed using Micronucleus-Cytome assay. Cellular uptake was investigated by Transmission Electron Microscopy. Pure anatase n-TiO2 resulted as the most suitable for remediation, being able to reduce B(a)P-induced DNA damage without side-effects.

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