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Physiological and biochemical response of soil-grown barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) to cerium oxide nanoparticles

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A soil microcosm study was performed to examine the impacts of cerium oxide nanoparticles (nCeO2) on the physiology, productivity, and macromolecular composition of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.). The plants were cultivated in soil treated with nCeO2 at 0, 125, 250, and 500 mg kg−1 (control, nCeO2-L, nCeO2-M, and nCeO2-H, respectively). Accumulation of Ce in leaves/grains and its effects on plant stress and nutrient loading were analyzed. The data revealed that nCeO2-H promoted plant development resulting in 331 % increase in shoot biomass compared with the control. nCeO2 treatment modified the stress levels in leaves without apparent signs of toxicity. However, plants exposed to nCeO2-H treatment did not form grains. Compared with control, nCeO2-M enhanced grain Ce accumulation by as much as 294 % which was accompanied by remarkable increases in P, K, Ca, Mg, S, Fe, Zn, Cu, and Al. Likewise, nCeO2-M enhanced the methionine, aspartic acid, threonine, tyrosine, arginine, and linolenic acid contents in the grains by up to 617, 31, 58, 141, 378, and 2.47 % respectively, compared with the rest of the treatments. The findings illustrate the beneficial and harmful effects of nanoceria in barley.

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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation and the Environmental Protection Agency under Cooperative Agreement Number DBI-0830117. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation or the Environmental Protection Agency. This work has not been subjected to EPA review and no official endorsement should be inferred. This work was supported by Grant 2G12MD007592 from the National Institutes on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The authors also acknowledge the USDA grant number 2011-38422-30835 and the NSF grant No. CHE-0840525. J. G.-T. acknowledges the Dudley family for the Endowed Research Professorship, the Academy of Applied Science/US Army REAP program at UTEP, grant No. W11NF-10-2-0076, sub-grant 13–7. Authors also acknowledge Dr. Brad Brown of University of Idaho who provided the barley seeds.

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Correspondence to Jorge L. Gardea-Torresdey.

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Responsible editor: Elena Maestri

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Description of methods, data on fertilization and soluble protein, and references on nanomaterials toxicity in cereals. This information is available free of charge via the Internet at (DOC 70 kb)

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Rico, C.M., Barrios, A.C., Tan, W. et al. Physiological and biochemical response of soil-grown barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) to cerium oxide nanoparticles. Environ Sci Pollut Res 22, 10551–10558 (2015).

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