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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

A non-classical route of efficient plant uptake verified with fluorescent nanoparticles and root adhesion forces investigated using AFM

Sharma, Sandeep; Muddassir, Mohd.; Muthusamy, Saraladevi; Vaishnav, Pardeep Kumar; Singh, Manish; Sharma, Deepak; Kanagarajan, Selvaraju; Shanmugam, Vijayakumar


Classical plant uptake is limited to hydrophilic or water-dispersible material. Therefore, in order to test the uptake behaviour of hydrophobic particles, here, we tested the fate of hydrophobic particles (oleylamine coated Cu2-xSe NPs (CS@OA)) in comparison to hydrophilic particles (chitosan-coated Cu2-xSe NPs (CS@CH)) by treatment on the plant roots. Surprisingly, hydrophobic CS@OA NPs have been found to be similar to 1.3 times more efficient than hydrophilic CS@CH NPs in tomato plant root penetration. An atomic force microscopy (AFM) adhesion force experiment confirms that hydrophobic NPs experience non-spontaneous yet energetically favorable root trapping and penetration. Further, a relative difference in the hydrophobic vs. hydrophilic NPs movement from roots to shoots has been observed and found related to the change in protein corona as identified by two dimensional-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2D-PAGE) analysis. Finally, the toxicity assays at the give concentration showed that Cu2-xSe NPs lead to non-significant toxicity as compared to control. This technology may find an advantage in fertilizer application.

Published in

Scientific Reports
2020, volume: 10, number: 1, article number: 19233

Authors' information

Sharma, Sandeep
Institute of Nano Science and Technology
Muddassir, Mohd.
CSIR - Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTECH)
Muthusamy, Saraladevi
Lund University
Vaishnav, Pardeep Kumar
All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) New Delhi
Singh, Manish
Institute of Nano Science and Technology
Sharma, Deepak
CSIR - Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTECH)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Plant Breeding
Shanmugam, Vijayakumar
Institute of Nano Science and Technology

UKÄ Subject classification

Plant Biotechnology

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