Carbon nanotubes can be either toxic or beneficial to plant growth and can also modulate toxicity of organic contaminants through surface sorption. The complex interacting toxic effects of carbon nanotubes and organic contaminants in plants have received little attention in the literature to date. In this study, the toxicity of multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNT, 50 mg/L) and paraquat (MV, 0.82 mg/L), separately or in combination, were evaluated at the physiological and the proteomic level in Arabidopsis thaliana for 7–14 days. The results revealed that the exposure to MWCNT had no inhibitory effect on the growth of shoots and leaves. Rather, MWCNT stimulated the relative electron transport rate and the effective photochemical quantum yield of PSII value as compared to the control by around 12% and lateral root production up to nearly 4-fold as compared to the control. The protective effect of MWCNT on MV toxicity on the root surface area could be quantitatively explained by the extent of MV adsorption on MWCNT and was related to stimulation of photosynthesis, antioxidant protection and number and area of lateral roots which in turn helped nutrient assimilation. The influence of MWCNT and MV on photosynthesis and oxidative stress at the physiological level was consistent with the proteomics analysis, with various over-expressed photosynthesis-related proteins (by more than 2 folds) and various under-expressed oxidative stress related proteins (by about 2–3 folds). This study brings new insights into the interactive effects of two xenobiotics (MWCNT and MV) on the physiology of a model plant.
Environmental Pollution – Elsevier
Published: Feb 1, 2018
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