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Wheat and barley exposure to nanoceria: Implications for agricultural productivity
Rico, C., A. Barrios, W. Tan, J. Peralta-Videa, AND J. Gardea-Torresday. Wheat and barley exposure to nanoceria: Implications for agricultural productivity. Environmental Nanotechnology - Steps for Environmentally Safe Implementation of Nanotechnology, West Dover, VT, June 21 - 26, 2015.
Nanoparticles have been incorporated into numerous consumer products and are likely to reach the terrestrial environment in significant concentrations, yet little is known about their potential toxicity or impacts on agricultural food production. A soil microcosm study was performed to assess how nano CeO2, an additive to diesel fuels in Europe and in off-road diesel fuel in the US, affected growth and development of wheat and barley. The results showed that Ce did not move to aerial tissues in wheat but accumulated significantly in barley grains. The results also showed that at the highest soil exposure, nCeO2 increased shoot biomass by 37% and 331% in wheat and barley, respectively. Yield was also improved in wheat by 13%, but in barley grain formation was halted. Although the mechanisms are not yet understood, the results showed that nCeO2 may impact productivity of agricultural crops, and that different crop species may respond differently to the same nanoparticle. Future tests need to examine uptake and response across a range of plant species, and evaluate the extent to which these materials may be entering the human food chain.
The impacts of man-made nanomaterials on agricultural productivity are not yet well understood. A soil microcosm study was performed to assess the physiological, phenological, and yield responses of wheat (Triticum aestivum) and barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) exposed to nanoceria (nCeO2). The plants were cultivated in soil amended with nCeO2 at 0, 125, 250, and 500 mg kg-1 (control, nCeO2-L, nCeO2-M, and nCeO2-H, respectively). The accumulation of Ce in leaves/grains and the effects on plant growth and productivity were recorded. Results revealed that Ce did not move to aerial tissues in wheat, but accumulated significantly in barley grains (294% increase in nCeO2-M compared to control). Relative to the control, nCeO2-H increased shoot biomass by 37% and 331% in wheat and barley, respectively. In the case of productivity, nCeO2-H improved yield in wheat by 13%, compared to control, but completely halted grain formation in barley. Additionally, nCeO2-M enhanced the concentration of the majority of the nutrient elements (K, P, Ca, Mg, S, Fe, Mn, Zn, and Cu) in barley grains, but only affected the concentration of S and Mn in wheat grains. These findings illustrate that nanoceria can induce either beneficial or harmful effects in wheat and barley, and this result has implications for agricultural production.