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The impacts of γ-Fe2O3 and Fe3O4 nanoparticles on the physiology and fruit quality of muskmelon (Cucumis melo) plants

Wang, Yunqiang, Wang, Shouxia, Xu, Mengxuan, Xiao, Lian, Dai, Zhaoyi, Li, Junli
Environmental pollution 2019 v.249 pp. 1011-1018
Cucumis melo, chlorophyll, crops, ferric oxide, fruits, iron, iron fertilizers, leaves, muskmelons, nanoparticles, nutrient deficiencies, plant growth
Iron fertilizers are worthy to be studied due to alleviate the Fe deficiency. Different forms of iron oxide nanoparticles are selected to better understand possible particle applications as an Fe source for crop plants. In this study, we assessed the different effects of γ-Fe2O3 and Fe3O4 NPs on the physiology and fruit quality of muskmelon plants in a pot experiment for five weeks. Results showed that no increased iron content was found under NPs treatment in root, stem, leaf and fruit, except 400 mg/L Fe3O4 NPs had a higher iron content in muskmelon root. With the extension of NPs exposure, both γ-Fe2O3 and Fe3O4 NPs began to promote plant growth. In addition, γ-Fe2O3 and Fe3O4 NPs could increase chlorophyll content at a certain stage of exposure. Happily, 200 mg/L γ-Fe2O3 NPs and 100, 200 mg/L Fe3O4 NPs significantly increased fruit weight of muskmelon by 9.1%, 9.4% and 11.5%. It is noteworthy that both γ-Fe2O3 and Fe3O4 NPs caused positive effects on VC content, particularly 100 mg/L Fe3O4 NPs increased the VC content by 46.95%. To the best of our knowledge, little research has been done on the effect of nanoparticles on the whole physiological cycle and fruit quality of melon. The assessment of physiology and fruit quality of muskmelon plants in vitro upon γ-Fe2O3 and Fe3O4 NPs exposure could lay a foundation for NPs potential impact at every growth period of muskmelon plants.