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Published February 1, 2023 | Version v1
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Nanomaterials biotransformation: In planta mechanisms of action

  • 1. Department of Chemistry, Life Sciences and Environmental Sustainability, University of Parma
  • 2. Centro Interdipartimentale per L'Energia e L'Ambiente (CIDEA), University of Parma, 43124, Parma
  • 3. ROR icon Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
  • 4. Consorzio Interuniversitario Nazionale per le Scienze Ambientali (CINSA)


Research on engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) exposure has continued to expand rapidly, with a focus on uncovering the underlying mechanisms. The EU largely limits the number and the type of organisms that can be used for experimental testing through the 3R normative. There are different routes through which ENMs can enter the soil-plant system: this includes the agricultural application of sewage sludges, and the distribution of nano-enabled agrochemicals. However, a thorough understanding of the physiological and molecular implications of ENMs dispersion and chronic low-dose exposure remains elusive, thus requiring new evidence and a more mechanistic overview of pathways and major effectors involved in plants. Plants can offer a reliable alternative to conventional model systems to elucidate the concept of ENM biotransformation within tissues and organs, as a crucial step in understanding the mechanisms of ENM-organism interaction. To facilitate the understanding of the physico-chemical forms involved in plant response, synchrotron-based techniques have added new potential perspectives in studying the interactions between ENMs and biota. These techniques are providing new insights on the interactions between ENMs and biomolecules. The present review discusses the principal outcomes for ENMs after intake by plants, including possible routes of biotransformation which make their final fate less uncertain, and therefore require further investigation.



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Journal article: 10.1016/j.envpol.2022.120834 (DOI)


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