Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 8, pp 7579–7588 | Cite as

Seed priming with silicon nanoparticles improved the biomass and yield while reduced the oxidative stress and cadmium concentration in wheat grains

  • Afzal Hussain
  • Muhammad Rizwan
  • Qasim Ali
  • Shafaqat AliEmail author
Research Article


Cadmium (Cd) is among the non-essential elements for the growth of crops while silicon (Si) is a beneficial element for plant growth. There is little evidence regarding the use of silicon nanoparticles (Si NPs) on the reduction of Cd accumulation in crops especially wheat. The present study determined the impact of seed priming with Si NPs on Cd-induced responses in wheat in terms of growth, yield, photosynthesis, oxidative stress, and Si and Cd accumulation in wheat. Seed priming was done by different levels of Si NPs (0, 300, 600, 900, 1200 mg/L) for 24 h by providing continuous aeration. Afterwards, seeds were sown in soil contaminated with Cd. The results depicted that Si NPs positively affected the wheat growth and chlorophyll contents over the control. The Si NPs diminished the oxidative stress and positively affected the antioxidant enzyme activity. The Si NPs decreased the Cd concentrations in wheat, especially in grains, and increased the Si concentrations in plants. The Si NPs reduced the Cd contents by 10–52% in shoot, by 11–60% in roots, and by 12–75% in grains as compared with respective controls. The study suggested that the use of Si NPs may be a tool for reducing the Cd toxicity in wheat and declining its concentration in grains. Thus, Si NPs application by seed priming method might be helpful in increasing plants biomass and yield while reducing the oxidative stress and Cd uptake in wheat grains.


Nanoparticles Cadmium Wheat Silicon Antioxidant enzymes 


Funding information

The financial support is from the Government College University, Faisalabad and Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan under NRPU Project No. 20-3653/NRPU/R&D/HEC/14/437 and NRPU Project No. 5634/Punjab/NRPU/R&D/HEC/2016.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Afzal Hussain
    • 1
  • Muhammad Rizwan
    • 1
  • Qasim Ali
    • 2
  • Shafaqat Ali
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Sciences and EngineeringGovernment College UniversityFaisalabadPakistan
  2. 2.Department of BotanyGovernment College UniversityFaisalabadPakistan

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