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Developmental phytotoxicity of metal oxide nanoparticles to Arabidopsis thaliana

Authors

  • Chang Woo Lee,

    1. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Rice University, MS-317, 6100 Main Street, Houston, Texas 77005, USA
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  • Shaily Mahendra,

    1. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Rice University, MS-317, 6100 Main Street, Houston, Texas 77005, USA
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  • Katherine Zodrow,

    1. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Rice University, MS-317, 6100 Main Street, Houston, Texas 77005, USA
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  • Dong Li,

    1. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Rice University, MS-317, 6100 Main Street, Houston, Texas 77005, USA
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  • Yu-Chang Tsai,

    1. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Rice University, MS-317, 6100 Main Street, Houston, Texas 77005, USA
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  • Janet Braam,

    1. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Rice University, MS-317, 6100 Main Street, Houston, Texas 77005, USA
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  • Pedro J.J. Alvarez

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Rice University, MS-317, 6100 Main Street, Houston, Texas 77005, USA
    • Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Rice University, MS-317, 6100 Main Street, Houston, Texas 77005, USA.
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Errata

This article is corrected by:

  1. Errata: Erratum: Developmental phytotoxicity of metal oxide nanoparticles to Arabidopsis thaliana Volume 29, Issue 6, 1399, Article first published online: 14 May 2010

Abstract

Phytotoxicity is an important consideration to understand the potential environmental impacts of manufactured nanomaterials. Here, we report on the effects of four metal oxide nanoparticles, aluminum oxide (nAl2O3), silicon dioxide (nSiO2), magnetite (nFe3O4), and zinc oxide (nZnO), on the development of Arabidopsis thaliana (Mouse-ear cress). Three toxicity indicators (seed germination, root elongation, and number of leaves) were quantified following exposure to each nanoparticle at three concentrations: 400, 2,000, and 4,000 mg/L. Among these particles, nZnO was most phytotoxic, followed by nFe3O4, nSiO2, and nAl2O3, which was not toxic. Consequently, nZnO was further studied to discern the importance of particle size and zinc dissolution as toxicity determinants. Soluble zinc concentrations in nanoparticle suspensions were 33-fold lower than the minimum inhibitory concentration of dissolved zinc salt (ZnCl2), indicating that zinc dissolution could not solely account for the observed toxicity. Inhibition of seed germination by ZnO depended on particle size, with nanoparticles exerting higher toxicity than larger (micron-sized) particles at equivalent concentrations. Overall, this study shows that direct exposure to nanoparticles significantly contributed to phytotoxicity and underscores the need for eco-responsible disposal of wastes and sludge containing metal oxide nanoparticles. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2010;29:669–675. © 2009 SETAC

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