Zno Nanoparticle Fate In Soil And Zinc Bioaccumulation In Corn Plants (Zea Mays) Influenced By Alginate

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Nanoparticles (NPs) can interact with naturally occurring inorganic and organic substances in soils, which may change their transport behavior in soil and plants. This study was performed in two steps. In the first step, corn (Zea mays) plants were cultivated for one month in soil amended with 10 nm commercial spheroid ZnO NPs at 0–800 mg kg−1 and sodium alginate at 10 mg kg−1. In the second step, the plants were grown with ZnO NPs at 400 mg kg−1 and alginate at 0, 10, 50, and 100 mg kg−1. The dynamics of Zn concentrations in soil solution and Zn accumulation in plant tissues were determined by ICP-OES. Biomass accumulation, chlorophyll concentration, and the activity of antioxidant enzymes in leaves were also quantified. Results indicate that ZnO NPs coexisting with Zn dissolved species were continuously released to the soil solution to replenish the Zn ions or ZnO NPs scavenged by roots. At 400 and 800 mg kg−1, without alginate, ZnO NPs significantly reduced the root and shoot biomass production; however, plants treated with these NP concentrations, plus alginate, had significantly more Zn in tissues with no reduction in biomass production. Alginate significantly reduced the activity of stress enzymes catalase and peroxidase, which could indicate damage in the defense system. The effects of ZnO NPs in a food crop grown in alginate enriched soil, showing an excess of Zn in the aerial parts, are yet to be reported.