Comparative effect of ZnO NPs, ZnO bulk and ZnSO4 in the antioxidant defences of two plant species growing in two agricultural soils under greenhouse conditions.Sci Total Environ. 2017 Jul 01; 589:11-24.ST
The present study has investigated the toxicity of ZnO NPs to bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) and tomato (Solanum lycopersicon) crops grown to maturity under greenhouse conditions using an acidic (soil pH5.4) and a calcareous soil (soil pH8.3). The potentially available Zn in the soils and the Zn accumulation in the leaves from NPs applied to the soil (3, 20 and 225mgZnkg-1) and changes in the chlorophylls, carotenoids and oxidative stress biomarkers were measured at 15, 30, 60 and 90days and compared with those caused by bulk ZnO and ZnSO4. The available Zn in the soil and the leaf Zn content did not differ among the Zn chemical species, except in the acidic soil at the highest concentration of Zn applied as Zn ions, where the highest values of the two variables were found. The ZnO NPs showed comparable Zn toxicity or biostimulation to their bulk counterparts and Zn salts, irrespective of certain significant differences suggesting a higher activity of the Zn ion. The treatments altered the photosynthetic pigment concentration and induced oxidative stress in plants. ROS formation was observed at Zn plant concentrations ranging from 590 to 760mgkg-1, but the effects on the rest of the parameters were highly dependent on the plant species, exposure time and especially soil type. In general, the effects were higher in the acidic soil than in the calcareous soil for the bean and the opposite for the tomato. The similar uptakes and toxicities of the different Zn forms suggest that the Zn ions derived from the ZnO NPs exerted a preferential toxicity in plants. However, several results obtained in soils treated with NPs at 3mgZnkg-1 soil indicated that may exist other underlying mechanisms related to the intrinsic nanoparticle properties, especially at low NP concentrations.