Bioavailability of metal/metal oxide nanomaterials and their effects on the physiology of plants

Nubia Zuverza Mena, University of Texas at El Paso


Nanoparticles (NPs) contained in consumer products will undoubtedly reach the environment. Engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) may cause physiological and biochemical alterations in plants and, therefore, have noteworthy effects on their growth and proliferation. Edible plants are a means through which NPs can reach organisms of higher trophic levels that feed on them. Previous studies have demonstrated that there are strong interactions between NPs and terrestrial plants. This project intends to evaluate the impacts that various commercially available NPs have on plants. Copper (Cu) nanomaterials and conventional Cu compounds were compared in cilantro plants (Chapter 2). In addition, changes in radish sprouts caused by a colloidal silver (Ag NPs) suspension were determined (Chapter 3). Also, the alterations in macromolecules and nutritional elements’ composition of cucumber and corn plants exposed to nanoparticles of zinc oxide (ZnO) and cerium oxide (CeO2) were studied (Chapter 4). Results revealed that Cu-based nanomaterials did not affect cilantro plants more than conventional Cu compounds, Ag NPs did affect the nutritional quality of radish sprouts and inhibit seedlings’ development, while CeO2 NPs presented less toxicity to both cucumber and corn plants than ZnO NPs.

Subject Area

Plant sciences|Biochemistry|Environmental science

Recommended Citation

Zuverza Mena, Nubia, "Bioavailability of metal/metal oxide nanomaterials and their effects on the physiology of plants" (2016). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI10152133.