Components from wheat roots modify the bioactivity of ZnO and CuO nanoparticles in a soil bacterium.Environ Pollut. 2014 Apr; 187:65-72.EP
ZnO and CuO nanoparticles (NPs) have widespread commercial uses and their impact on agricultural systems is unresolved. This study examined whether the metabolites washed from wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) roots modulated the metabolic response to the NPs of a biosensor generated in the root colonizer, Pseudomonas putida KT2440. The root wash components boosted light output of the biosensor consistent with their catabolism. Dose-dependent and rapid inhibition of cell metabolism occurred with both ZnO and CuO NPs in water suspensions but high light output was maintained in root wash. Root wash also protected biosensor output in challenges with Zn ions. However the root wash components did not protect culturability or biosensor light output upon exposure to Cu ions. Imaging by atomic force microscopy suggested that root wash materials coated the NPs. We deduced that the response of a microbe to these metal oxide NPs could be negated by components released from roots.