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Issue 4, 2011
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TiO2 and ZnO nanoparticles negatively affect wheat growth and soil enzyme activities in agricultural soil

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Abstract

The properties of nanoparticles and their increased use have raised concerns about their possible harmful effects within the environment. Most studies on their effects have been in aqueous systems. Here we investigated the effect of TiO2 and ZnO nanoparticles on wheat growth and soil enzyme activities under field conditions. Both of the nanoparticles reduced the biomass of wheat. The TiO2 nanoparticles were retained in the soil for long periods and primarily adhered to cell walls of wheat. The ZnO nanoparticles dissolved in the soil, thereby enhancing the uptake of toxic Zn by wheat. The nanoparticles also induced significant changes in soil enzyme activities, which are bioindicators of soil quality and health. Soil protease, catalase, and peroxidase activities were inhibited in the presence of the nanoparticles; urease activity was unaffected. The nanoparticles themselves or their dissolved ions were clearly toxic for the soil ecosystem.

Graphical abstract: TiO2 and ZnO nanoparticles negatively affect wheat growth and soil enzyme activities in agricultural soil

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Publication details

The article was received on 29 Oct 2010, accepted on 23 Dec 2010 and first published on 25 Jan 2011


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C0EM00611D
Citation: J. Environ. Monit., 2011,13, 822-828
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    TiO2 and ZnO nanoparticles negatively affect wheat growth and soil enzyme activities in agricultural soil

    W. Du, Y. Sun, R. Ji, J. Zhu, J. Wu and H. Guo, J. Environ. Monit., 2011, 13, 822
    DOI: 10.1039/C0EM00611D

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