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Uptake, translocation, size characterization and localization of cerium oxide nanoparticles in radish (Raphanus sativus L.)

Wojcieszek, Justyna, Jiménez-Lamana, Javier, Bierła, Katarzyna, Ruzik, Lena, Asztemborska, Monika, Jarosz, Maciej, Szpunar, Joanna
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.683 pp. 284-292
Raphanus sativus, bioaccumulation, ceric oxide, culture media, direct contact, environmental impact, industry, leaves, mature plants, models, nanoparticles, physicochemical properties, radishes, roots, soil, stems, tissues
Due to their unique physical and chemical properties, the production and use of cerium oxide nanoparticles (CeO2 NPs) in different areas, especially in automotive industry, is rapidly increasing, causing their presence in the environment. Released CeO2 NPs can undergo different transformations and interact with the soil and hence with plants, providing a potential pathway for human exposure and leading to serious concerns about their impact on the ecosystem and human organism. This study investigates the uptake, bioaccumulation, possible translocation and localization of CeO2 NPs in a model plant (Raphanus sativus L.), whose edible part is in direct contact with the soil where contamination is more likely to happen. The stability of CeO2 NPs in plant growth medium as well as after applying a standard enzymatic digestion procedure was tested by single particle ICP-MS (SP-ICP-MS) showing that CeO2 NPs can remain intact after enzymatic digestion; however, an agglomeration process was observed in the growth medium already after one day of cultivation. An enzymatic digestion method was next used in order to extract intact nanoparticles from the tissues of plants cultivated from the stage of seeds, followed by size characterization by SP-ICP-MS. The results obtained by SP-ICP-MS showed a narrower size distribution in the case of roots suggesting preferential uptake of smaller nanoparticles which led to the conclusion that plants do not take up the CeO2 NPs agglomerates present in the medium. However, nanoparticles at higher diameters were observed after analysis of leaves plus stems. Additionally, a small degree of dissolution was observed in the case of roots. Finally, after CeO2 NPs treatment of adult plants, the spatial distribution of intact CeO2 NPs in the radish roots was studied by laser ablation ICP-MS (LA-ICP-MS) and the ability of NPs to enter and be accumulated in root tissues was confirmed.