Arbuscular mycorrhizae alleviate negative effects of zinc oxide nanoparticle and zinc accumulation in maize plants--A soil microcosm experiment

Fayuan WangXiaojun Shi


ZnO nanoparticles (NPs) are considered an emerging contaminant when in high concentration, and their effects on crops and soil microorganisms pose new concerns and challenges. Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi (AMF) form mutualistic symbioses with most vascular plants, and putatively contribute to reducing nanotoxicity in plants. Here, we studied the interactions between ZnO NPs and maize plants inoculated with or without AMF in ZnO NPs-spiked soil. ZnO NPs had no significant adverse effects at 400 mg/kg, but inhibited both maize growth and AM colonization at concentrations at and above 800 mg/kg. Sufficient addition of ZnO NPs decreased plant mineral nutrient acquisition, photosynthetic pigment concentrations, and root activity. Furthermore, ZnO NPs caused Zn concentrations in plants to increase in a dose-dependent pattern. As the ZnO NPs dose increased, we also found a positive correlation with soil diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (DTPA)-extractable Zn. However, AM inoculation significantly alleviated the negative effects induced by ZnO NPs: inoculated-plants experienced increased growth, nutrient uptake, photosynthetic pigment content, and SOD activity in leaves. Mycorrhizal plants also exhibited decreased ROS accumulatio...Continue Reading


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