The small size of nanoparticles (NPs), with dimensions between 1 and 100 nm, results in unique chemical and physical characteristics, which is why they are implemented in various consumer products. Therefore, an important concern is the potential detrimental impact of NPs on the environment. As plants are a vital part of ecosystem, investigation of the phytotoxic effects of NPs is particularly interesting. This study investigated the potential phytotoxicity of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) on tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) plants and compared it with the effects of the same AgNO3 concentrations. Accumulation of silver in roots and leaves was equally efficient after both AgNP and AgNO3 treatment, with predominant Ag levels found in the roots. Exposure to AgNPs did not result in elevated values of oxidative stress parameters either in roots or in leaves, while AgNO3 induced oxidative stress in both plant tissues. In the presence of both AgNPs and AgNO3, root meristem cells became highly vacuolated, which indicates that vacuoles might be the primary storage target for accumulated Ag. Direct AgNP uptake by root cells was confirmed. Leaf ultrastructural studies revealed changes mainly in the size of chloroplasts of AgNP-treated and AgNO3-treated plants. All of these findings indicate that nano form of silver is less toxic to tobacco plants than silver ions.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 8, 2017
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