Impact of Nanoparticles on Photosynthesizing Organisms and Their Use in Hybrid Structures with Some Components of Photosynthetic Apparatus

  • Josef Jampílek
  • Katarína Kráľová
Part of the Nanotechnology in the Life Sciences book series (NALIS)


Oxygenic photosynthesis is a process used by plants, algae, and photosynthetic bacteria to convert light energy into chemical energy, which is stored in carbohydrate molecules that are synthesized from CO2, and this process is accompanied by oxygen evolution. The efficient photosynthesis of plants is a precondition for maintaining the oxygen content of the Earth’s atmosphere and supplying all the organic compounds and most of the energy needed for life on Earth. Due to their unusual physical, chemical, and biological properties, differing in important ways from the properties of bulk materials and single atoms or molecules, nanoparticles occurring in the environment as well as engineered ones could exert a notable impact on photosynthesizing organisms reflected in physiological and biochemical responses, including the improvement or impairment of their photosynthetic performance. In general, higher concentrations of nanoscale materials show adverse effects on plants and algae, can damage their photosynthetic apparatus, inhibit photosynthetic electron transport or CO2 reduction by suppressing Rubisco activity, and support production of harmful reactive oxygen species. On the other hand, some nanoparticles are suitable as fertilizers and plant growth promotion agents and thus contribute to higher yield of agronomically important crops. This contribution comprehensively reviews recent findings related to the impact of carbon-based nanoparticles as well as nanoscale essential and nonessential metals and their composites on photosynthesizing organisms, including corresponding mechanisms of action. Moreover, the utilization of nanoparticles combined with various components of the photosynthetic apparatus (e.g., thylakoids, photosystem II, and photosystem I) applied as photobiocatalysts for the light-induced generation of electrical power is outlined. Recent findings related to inserting nanoparticles into cells and chloroplasts of living plants in order to alter or amplify the functioning of the plant tissue or organelles using the plant nanobionics approach are briefly presented as well.


Algae Nanobionics Nanoparticles Photobiocatalysis Photosynthesis Photosystems Plants Thylakoids 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Josef Jampílek
    • 1
    • 2
  • Katarína Kráľová
    • 3
  1. 1.Division of Biologically Active Complexes and Molecular Magnets, Regional Centre of Advanced Technologies and MaterialsPalacký UniversityOlomoucCzech Republic
  2. 2.Institute of Neuroimmunology, Slovak Academy of SciencesBratislavaSlovakia
  3. 3.Institute of Chemistry, Faculty of Natural SciencesComenius UniversityBratislavaSlovakia

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