Assessment of phytotoxicity of ZnO NPs on a medicinal plant, Fagopyrum esculentum.Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2013 Feb; 20(2):848-54.ES
Fagopyrum esculentum commonly named as buckwheat plant is pseudocereal food crops and healthy herbs but is not known as a bioindicator of environmental condition. In the present study, the effects of ZnO nanoparticles (NPs) and microparticles (MPs) on plant growth, bioaccumulation, and antioxidative enzyme activity in buckwheat were estimated under hydroponic culture. The significant biomass reduction at concentrations of 10-2,000 mg/L was 7.7-26.4 % for the ZnO NP and 11.4-23.5 % for the ZnO MP treatment, (p < 0.05). ZnO NPs were observed in root cells and root cell surface by scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy analysis. Zn bioaccumulation in plant increased with increasing treatment concentrations. The upward translocation (translocation factor <0.2) of Zn in plant was higher with the ZnO NP treatment than that with the ZnO MP treatment. Additionally, reactive oxygen species generation by ZnO NPs was estimated as the reduced glutathione level and catalase activity, which would be a predictive biomarker of nanotoxicity. The results are the first study to evaluate the phytotoxicity of ZnO NPs to medicinal plant. F. esculentum can be as a good indicator of plant species in NP-polluted environment.