Nanoparticle Uptake by Plants: Beneficial or Detrimental?

  • Ivan Pacheco
  • Cristina BuzeaEmail author


Plants have been shown to uptake nanoparticles of various composition and size. The uptake is plant specific and can result in negative, positive, or no effect on plants. Some nanoparticles modify the roots and leaves of plants and seed germination and induce genetic alterations. Nanoparticle physicochemical properties, such as size, crystalline structure, and surface charge, influence their translocation and bioaccumulation in plants. Nanoparticles are shown to be transmitted to second-generation plants. While some researchers try to justify the use of nanoparticles for some plant species, the overall negative effects due to accumulation of nanoparticles in soil and plants might overshadow the limited beneficial aspects on some plants. Depending mainly on their size, many nanoparticles can enter the food chain via roots or foliar uptake. Nanoparticles of many materials are already shown to be toxic to humans and animals; therefore nanoparticle uptake by plants may pose serious safety concerns.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PathologyGrey Bruce Health ServicesOwen SoundCanada
  2. 2.Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Schülich School of Medicine and DentistryWestern UniversityLondonCanada
  3. 3.IIPB Medicine CorporationOwen SoundCanada

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