Latest developments of nanotoxicology in plants

Stefania Mura, Gianfranco Greppi, Joseph Irudayaraj

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In the last years metal nanoparticles have been largely used for their unique physical, chemical, and biological properties, which differ from those of bulk materials. The wide number of applications has led to a significant diffusion of such particles in the environment and their absorption by plants. The aim of this chapter is to follow the metabolic pathway of nanoparticles (NPs) and nanomaterials inside the plant cells. In particular, the effects of different metal nanomaterials on seed germination, growth, chlorophyll concentration, biomass accumulation, root elongation, variation in the shoot/root ratio, photosynthetic characteristics, and antioxidant responses will be analyzed. Furthermore, the latest studies of phytotoxicity (including production of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS), biomass reduction, stress levels, mitochondrial dysfunction, membrane damage, and release of toxic ions) will be presented. Along the chapter, the acute toxicity of nanomaterials in plants and the long-term effects to different generations will be investigated. Finally, the concentration of NPs in different parts of the plants and their uptake in plant foliar will be described with the choice of NPs that have less toxic and more useful effects in agriculture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNanotechnology and Plant Sciences
Subtitle of host publicationNanoparticles and Their Impact on Plants
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9783319145020
ISBN (Print)9783319145013
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Nanomaterials
  • Nanoparticles
  • Phytotoxicity
  • Plants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Engineering
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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