Terrestrial Nanotoxicology: Evaluating the Nano-Biointeractions in Vascular Plants

  • Swati Rawat
  • Suzanne A. Apodaca
  • Wenjuan Tan
  • Jose R. Peralta-Videa
  • Jorge L. Gardea-TorresdeyEmail author
Part of the Nanomedicine and Nanotoxicology book series (NANOMED)


The effects of engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) in living organisms are described in a myriad of articles. Most of the literature on this topic is devoted to plants of different gender and species. Studies from laboratories and greenhouse facilities highlight effects on chlorophyll production, plant growth, stress enzyme activities, phytotoxicity, cytotoxicity, and genotoxicity. With few exceptions, research reports show that toxic effects of ENPs on plants are associated with particle size, phase, surface properties, exposure concentration, and soil chemistry. ENPs have been found to be taken through roots from soilless/soil media and translocated to the aboveground organs. However, the uptake and translocation can occur in reverse if important amounts of ENPs are exposed to the foliage. This chapter includes an analysis of the most recent and relevant information about the interaction of ENPs with vascular plants. Most of the reviewed literature refers to highly produced and used ENPs. Data about exposure to carbon nanotubes (CNTs), cerium dioxide (nano-CeO2), titanium dioxide (nano-TiO2), zinc oxide (nano-ZnO), copper oxide (nano-CuO), gold (nano-Au), iron (nano-Fe3O4), silver (nano-Ag), and others ENPs are discussed.


Engineered nanoparticles Toxicology Uptake Exposure pathways Risk assessment 



This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation and the Environmental Protection Agency under Cooperative Agreement Number DBI-1266377. 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. The authors also acknowledge the USDA Grant 2016-67021-24985 and the NSF Grants EEC-1449500, CHE-0840525 and DBI-1429708. Partial funding was provided by the NSF ERC on Nanotechnology-Enabled Water Treatment (EEC-1449500). This work was also supported by Grant 2G12MD007592 from the National Institutes on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). J.L. Gardea-Torresdey acknowledges the Dudley family for the Endowed Research Professorship, the Academy of Applied Science/US Army Research Office, Research and Engineering Apprenticeship Program (REAP) at UTEP, and the LEER and STARS programs of the UT System.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Swati Rawat
    • 1
  • Suzanne A. Apodaca
    • 1
  • Wenjuan Tan
    • 1
  • Jose R. Peralta-Videa
    • 1
  • Jorge L. Gardea-Torresdey
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Environmental Science and EngineeringThe University of Texas at El PasoEl PasoUSA

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