CuO and ZnO Nanoparticles Modify Interkingdom Cell Signaling Processes Relevant to Crop Production.J Agric Food Chem. 2018 Jul 05; 66(26):6513-6524.JA
As the world population increases, strategies for sustainable agriculture are needed to fulfill the global need for plants for food and other commercial products. Nanoparticle formulations are likely to be part of the developing strategies. CuO and ZnO nanoparticles (NPs) offer potential as fertilizers, as they provide bioavailable essential metals, and as pesticides, because of dose-dependent toxicity. Effects of these metal oxide NPs on rhizosphere functions are the focus of this review. These NPs at doses of ≥10 mg metal/kg change the production of key metabolites involved in plant protection in a root-associated microbe, Pseudomonas chlororaphis O6. Altered synthesis occurs in the microbe for phenazines, which function in plant resistance to pathogens, the pyoverdine-like siderophore that enhances Fe bioavailability in the rhizosphere and indole-3-acetic acid affecting plant growth. In wheat seedlings, reprogramming of root morphology involves increases in root hair proliferation (CuO NPs) and lateral root formation (ZnO NPs). Systemic changes in wheat shoot gene expression point to altered regulation for metal stress resilience as well as the potential for enhanced survival under stress commonly encountered in the field. These responses to the NPs cross kingdoms involving the bacteria, fungi, and plants in the rhizosphere. Our challenge is to learn how to understand the value of these potential changes and successfully formulate the NPs for optimal activity in the rhizosphere of crop plants. These formulations may be integrated into developing practices to ensure the sustainability of crop production.