Nanoparticle synthesis and delivery by an aerosol route for watermelon plant foliar uptake
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An aerosol process was developed for synthesis and delivery of nanoparticles for living watermelon plant foliar uptake. This is an efficient technique capable of generating nanoparticles with controllable particle sizes and number concentrations. Aerosolized nanoparticles were easily applied to leaf surfaces and enter the stomata via gas uptake, avoiding direct interaction with soil systems, eliminating potential ecological risks. The uptake and transport of nanoparticles inside the watermelon plants were investigated systematically by various techniques, such as elemental analysis by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and plant anatomy by transmission electron microscopy. The results revealed that certain fractions of nanoparticles (d p < 100 nm) generated by the aerosol process could enter the leaf following the stomatal pathway, then pass through the stem, and reach the root of the watermelon plants. The particle size and number concentration played an important role in nanoparticle translocation inside the plants. In addition, the nanoparticle application method, working environment, and leaf structure are also important factors to be considered for successful plant foliar uptake.
KeywordsNanoparticle translocation Organic farming Nanotoxicity Stomatal pathway Particle size measurements
This work was performed in part at the Nano Research Facility (NRF), a member of the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN), which is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. ECS-0335765.
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