The Scenery of Bioplastics and Beyond: Unveiling the Environmental Implications for a Sustainable Horizon

A special issue of Toxics (ISSN 2305-6304). This special issue belongs to the section "Ecotoxicology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2024 | Viewed by 2641

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Life Sciences, University of Siena, 53100 Siena, Italy
Interests: physiological, biochemical, and molecular responses of plants to abiotic stresses such as deficiencies of natural resources (e.g., nutrients and water) or salinity; analysis of the effects of biofertilizers (i.e., biochar and wood distillate) on the soil–plant system; the use of solid and liquid byproducts of hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) in soilless culture systems; analysis of the impact of bioplastics on plant yield and soil quality
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Guest Editor
Department of Analytical Chemistry, Physical Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, University of Alcalá, Alcalá de Henares, E-28871 Madrid, Spain
Interests: chemical technology; water and wastewater pollution and treatment; environmental chemistry; environmental toxicology; micro- and nanoplastics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleague,

As the global community is increasingly recognizing the need for sustainable practices, the development and use of bioplastics have gained significant attention. Bioplastics, derived from renewable resources such as plants, microbes, or agricultural by-products, represent a promising alternative to traditional plastics derived from fossil fuels. Indeed, the inherent biodegradability and reduced carbon footprint of bioplastics align perfectly with the global push for sustainable solutions. However, a comprehensive understanding of the environmental implications, with a focus on water and soil quality and the health status of crop plants, is essential to ensure the environmental sustainability of the use of these biomaterials. This Special Issue aims not only to explore and analyse, in detail, the composition of these materials, but also the environmental implications associated with the adoption of bioplastics in various sectors from agriculture and packaging to medical applications and beyond. In addition, this Special Issue will also accept papers aimed at exploring the environmental compatibility of other bio-based materials, such as biopolymers prepared for the release of functional principles and nutrients, which find application in areas such as medicine and agriculture. Original research and updated review articles are welcome.

Dr. Silvia Celletti
Prof. Dr. Roberto Rosal
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • bioplastics
  • ecotoxicological risk
  • hydrogel
  • nanoparticles
  • plant
  • renewable materials
  • soil
  • sustainability
  • water

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

19 pages, 2084 KiB  
Article
Unveiling Molecular Effects of the Secondary Metabolite 2-Dodecanone in the Model Hymenopteran Nasonia vitripennis
by Rosario Planelló, Mónica Aquilino, Laureen Beaugeard, Lola Llorente, Óscar Herrero, David Siaussat and Charlotte Lécureuil
Toxics 2024, 12(2), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12020159 - 18 Feb 2024
Viewed by 954
Abstract
Over the past decade, multiple studies have suggested that the secondary metabolites produced by plants against herbivorous insects could be used as biopesticides. However, as the molecular mechanism of action of these compounds remains unknown, it is difficult to predict how they would [...] Read more.
Over the past decade, multiple studies have suggested that the secondary metabolites produced by plants against herbivorous insects could be used as biopesticides. However, as the molecular mechanism of action of these compounds remains unknown, it is difficult to predict how they would affect non-target insects; thus, their innocuity needs to be clarified. Here, we investigate, from the molecular level to the organism, the responses of a useful parasitic insect Nasonia vitripennis (Walker, 1836) being exposed at the pupae stage for 48 h (up to 6 days) to sublethal doses (5 µg/L and 500 µg/L) of 2-Dodecanone. 2-Dodecanone altered the gene expression of genes related to ecdysone-related pathways, biotransformation, and cell homeostasis. A significant induction of ecdysone response-genes (EcR, usp, E78, Hr4, Hr38) was detected, despite no significant differences in ecdysteroid levels. Regarding the cell homeostasis processes, the gene l(2)efl was differentially altered in both experimental conditions, and a dose-dependent induction of hex81 was observed. 2-Dodecanone also triggered an induction of Cyp6aQ5 activity. Finally, 2-Dodecanone exposure had a significant effect on neither development time, energy reserves, nor egg-laying capacity; no potential genotoxicity was detected. For the first time, this study shows evidence that 2-Dodecanone can modulate gene expression and interfere with the ecdysone signalling pathway in N. vitripennis. This could lead to potential endocrine alterations and highlight the suitability of this organism to improve our general understanding of the molecular effects of plant defences in insects. Our findings provide new insights into the toxicity of 2-Dodecanone that could potentially be explored in other species and under field conditions for plant protection and pest management as a means to reduce reliance on synthetic pesticides. Full article
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12 pages, 1525 KiB  
Article
Dose-Dependent Effects of a Corn Starch-Based Bioplastic on Basil (Ocimum basilicum L.): Implications for Growth, Biochemical Parameters, and Nutrient Content
by Nazanin Azarnejad, Silvia Celletti, Majid Ghorbani, Riccardo Fedeli and Stefano Loppi
Toxics 2024, 12(1), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12010080 - 17 Jan 2024
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Abstract
Plastic pollution is a pressing global issue, prompting the exploration of sustainable alternatives such as bioplastics (BPs). In agriculture, BPs have gained relevance as mulching films. This study investigated the effect of the presence in the soil of different concentrations (0–3%, w/ [...] Read more.
Plastic pollution is a pressing global issue, prompting the exploration of sustainable alternatives such as bioplastics (BPs). In agriculture, BPs have gained relevance as mulching films. This study investigated the effect of the presence in the soil of different concentrations (0–3%, w/w) of a corn starch-based bioplastic on basil (Ocimum basilicum L.). The results showed that increasing bioplastic concentration reduced shoot fresh biomass production. Biochemical analyses revealed changes in the shoot in soluble protein content, biomarkers of oxidative and osmotic stress (malondialdehyde and proline, respectively), anti-radical activity, and antioxidant compounds (phenols, flavonoids, and ascorbic acid), which are indicative of plant adaptive mechanisms in response to stress caused by the presence of the different concentrations of bioplastic in the soil. Macro- and micronutrient analysis showed imbalances in nutrient uptake, with a decreased content of potassium, phosphorus, and manganese, and an increased content of magnesium, iron, and copper in the shoot at high BP concentrations. Full article
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