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• Cerium oxide nanoparticles improved the physiological responses of Brassica.
• Cerium oxide nanoparticles altered plant salt stress responses.
• Exposure to cerium oxide nanoparticles did not change plant nutritional values.
• Cerium oxide nanoparticles inhibited plant uptake of salt.
• Salt stress led to higher plant uptake of cerium oxide nanoparticles.
Dwindling high quality water resources and growing population are forcing growers to irrigate crops with water of high salinity. It is well recognized that salinity negatively affects plant physiology and biochemistry, and represents one of the most serious threats to crop production and food security. Meanwhile, engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) are increasingly detected in irrigation water and agricultural soils due to the rapid advancement of nanotechnology. Previous research has demonstrated that ENPs such as cerium oxide nanoparticles (CeO2-NPs) exert significant impact on plant growth and production. However, almost all previous studies were conducted in well controlled environment. Knowledge on how ENPs affect plant development in a stressed condition is almost empty. The goal of the present study was to understand the physiological and biochemical changes in Brassica napus L. (canola) cv. ‘Dwarf Essex’ under synergistic salt stress and CeO2-NPs effects. Two salinity levels: 0 (control) and 100 mM NaCl, and three CeO2-NPs concentrations: 0 (control), 200 and 1000 mg kg−1 dry sand and clay mixture, were employed. As expected, 100 mM of NaCl significantly hindered plant growth and negatively affected the physiological processes of canola. Plants treated with CeO2-NPs had higher plant biomass, exhibited higher efficiency of the photosynthetic apparatus and less stress in both fresh water and saline water irrigation conditions Overall, our results demonstrated that CeO2-NPs led to changes in canola growth and physiology which improved the plant salt stress response but did not completely alleviate the salt stress of canola.
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Journal: Environmental Pollution - Volume 219, December 2016, Pages 28–36