Effects of organic, metallic, and metallic oxide nanoparticles on plant physiology

Author(s): Keelin Reilly

Nanotechnology is a research area that has experienced tremendous development given the enormous potential of nanoparticles (NPs) to influence almost all industries and conventional processes. NPs have been extensively used in agriculture to improve plant physiology, production, and nutritional values of plant-based products. The large surface area and small size are some of the desired attributes for NPs that can substantially ameliorate plants’ physiological processes, thereby improving crop production. Nevertheless, the results derived from such research have not always been positive as NPs have been shown, in some cases, to negatively affect plants due to their potentially toxic nature. These toxic effects depend upon the size, concentration, nature, zeta potential, and shape of nanoparticles, as well as the used plant species. The most common response of plants under c is the activation of antioxidant systems and the production of secondary metabolites. The mitigation of such NPsinduced stress highly varies depending on the amount of NPs applied to the plant growth stage and the environmental conditions. On the contrary, higher photosynthetic rates, higher chlorophyll, and praline content, improved homeostasis, hormonal balance, and nutrient assimilation are the favourable physiological changes after NPs applications. Alternatively, NPs do not always exhibit positive or negative impacts on plants, and no physiological influences are sometimes observed. Considering such diversity of responses after the use of NPs on plants, this review summarizes the progress made in nanotechnology on the influence of different NPs in plant physiology through the use of indexes like seed germination, root and shoot morphology, photosynthesis, and their impact when used as carriers of cell signalling molecules such as nitric oxide (NO). Understanding the intimate dynamics of nanoparticle toxicity in plants can prove to be fruitful for the development of areas like agronomy, horticulture, plant pathology, plant physiology, etc. That, in return, can assist to ensure agricultural sustainability. Similarly, this may also help to pave the way to combat the drastic climate change and satisfy growing food demands for the ever-increasing world population. Further studies on molecular and genetic levels can certainly broaden the current understanding of NPs-plant interactions and devise the respective mitigation strategies for environmental safety.