Nanoparticle Surface Chemistry Influences Journey Through Tomato Plant


Terrestrial ecosystems are a major sink for manufactured nanomaterials released unintentionally or used intentionally in agrochemical formulations. These nanomaterials can be taken up by plants and transferred to herbivores.

The surface chemistry of manufactured nanoparticles can have a profound impact on their uptake and translocation in plants. However, there is a limited understanding of the tissue, cellular, and subcellular basis for this.

Researchers used a novel hard X-ray nanoprobe with unprecedented spatial resolution (<15 nm) to reveal details about the effects of the surface chemistry of the nanoparticle cerium dioxide (CeO2) on its uptake and translocation in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum).

This information enhances the ability to predict how nanomaterial properties influence the uptake, transformations, and subsequent trophic transfer of nanomaterials in terrestrial food webs.


J. Li, R. V. Tappero, A. S. Acerbo, H. Yan, Y. Chu, G. V. Lowry, J. M. Unrine. “Effect of CeO2 nanomaterial surface functional groups on tissue and subcellular distribution of Ce in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum).” Environ. Sci.: Nano (2019). [DOI:10.1039/c8en01287c]