Journal of Cluster Science

, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 2027–2040 | Cite as

Toxicity of Camellia sinensis-Fabricated Silver Nanoparticles on Invertebrate and Vertebrate Organisms: Morphological Abnormalities and DNA Damages

  • Balan Banumathi
  • Baskaralingam Vaseeharan
  • Periyakaruppan Suganya
  • Thavasimuthu Citarasu
  • Marimuthu Govindarajan
  • Naiyf S. Alharbi
  • Shine Kadaikunnan
  • Jamal M. Khaled
  • Giovanni Benelli
Original Paper


Our understanding of nanoparticle toxicity and fate in the aquatic environment is still patchy. In the present study, the toxicity of silver nanoparticles coated by Camellia sinensis (Cs) leaf extract metabolites (Cs-AgNPs) was investigated in comparison with C. sinensis leaf extract and AgNO3 on a micro-crustacean, Ceriodaphnia cornuta, and a fish Poecilia reticulata. 100% mortality of C. cornuta was observed post-exposure to AgNO3 (40 µg/ml) if compared to the Cs leaf extract and Cs-AgNPs, showing 30 and 56% mortality at the same concentration, respectively. In P. reticulata 100% mortality was observed testing AgNO3 and Cs-AgNPs post-exposure to 1 and 30 µg/ml, respectively. Light microscopy and CLSM images showed the accumulation of nanoparticles in the intestine of C. cornuta treated with Cs-AgNPs at 40 µg/ml. In addition, histological observations confirmed the abnormal tissue texture in nanoparticle-exposed P. reticulata, if compared to control fishes. Furthermore, C. cornuta and P. reticulata treated with Cs-AgNPs showed DNA damages compared to the control. Overall, these findings indicated relevant limits about the employ of silver-based pesticides in the environment, and also pointed out the Cs-AgNPs were less toxic to C. cornuta and P. reticulata if compared to silver ions.


Biosafety Ceriodaphnia cornuta Poecilia reticulata Ag nanoparticles DNA damage 



The authors extend their sincere appreciations to the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), New Delhi, India under the project grants code BT/PR7903/AAquote/3/638/2013. This Project was supported by King Saud University, Deanship of Scientific Research, College of Sciences Research Centre. BB gratefully acknowledges the UGC for grant of Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship (Ref. No: F1-17.1/RGNF-2012-13-SC-TAM-23853).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Balan Banumathi
    • 1
  • Baskaralingam Vaseeharan
    • 1
  • Periyakaruppan Suganya
    • 1
  • Thavasimuthu Citarasu
    • 2
  • Marimuthu Govindarajan
    • 3
  • Naiyf S. Alharbi
    • 4
  • Shine Kadaikunnan
    • 4
  • Jamal M. Khaled
    • 4
  • Giovanni Benelli
    • 5
  1. 1.Biomaterials and Biotechnology in Animal Health Lab, Department of Animal Health and ManagementAlagappa UniversityKaraikudiIndia
  2. 2.Centre for Marine Science and TechnologyManonmaniam Sundaranar UniversityRajakkamangalam, KanyakumariIndia
  3. 3.Unit of Vector Control, Phytochemistry and Nanotechnology, Department of ZoologyAnnamalai UniversityAnnamalainagarIndia
  4. 4.Department of Botany and Microbiology, College of ScienceKing Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  5. 5.Department of Agriculture, Food and EnvironmentUniversity of PisaPisaItaly

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