Impact of copper nanoparticles and ionic copper exposure on wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) root morphology and antioxidant response.
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Peijnenburg, W J G M
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TitleImpact of copper nanoparticles and ionic copper exposure on wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) root morphology and antioxidant response.
Published inEnviron Pollut 2018; 239:689-97
PubliekssamenvattingCopper nanoparticles (nCu) are widely used in industry and in daily life, due to their unique physical, chemical, and biological properties. Few studies have focused on nCu phytotoxicity, especially with regard to toxicity mechanisms in crop plants. The present study examined the effect of 15.6 μM nCu exposure on the root morphology, physiology, and gene transcription levels of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), a major crop cultivated worldwide. The results obtained were compared with the effects of exposing wheat to an equivalent molar concentration of ionic Cu (Cu2+ released from CuSO4) and to control plants. The relative growth rate of roots decreased to approximately 60% and the formation of lateral roots was stimulated under nCu exposure, possibly due to the enhancement of nitrogen uptake and accumulation of auxin in lateral roots. The expression of four of the genes involved in the positive regulation of cell proliferation and negative regulation of programmed cell death decreased to 50% in the Cu2+ treatment compared to that of the control, while only one gene was down-regulated to about half of the control in nCu treatment. This explained the decreased root cell proliferation and higher extent of induced cell death in Cu2+- than in nCu-exposed plants. The increased methane dicarboxylic aldehyde accumulation (2.17-fold increase compared with the control) and decreased antioxidant enzyme activities (more than 50% decrease compared with the control) observed in the Cu2+ treatment in relation to the nCu treatment indicated higher oxidative stress in Cu2+- than in nCu-exposed plants. Antioxidant (e.g., proline) synthesis was pronouncedly induced by nCu to scavenge excess reactive oxygen species, alleviating phytotoxicity to wheat exposed to this form of Cu. Overall, oxidative stress and root growth inhibition were the main causes of nCu toxicity.
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