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Trends Plant Sci. 2011 Nov;16(11):582-9. doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2011.08.003. Epub 2011 Sep 7.

Plant nanotoxicology.

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Biochemistry and Physiology of Plants, Bielefeld University, 33615 Bielefeld, Germany.

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  • Trends Plant Sci. 2012 Mar;17(3):180.


The anthropogenic release of nanoparticles (NPs) to the environment poses a potential hazard to human health and life. The interplay between NPs and biological processes is receiving increasing attention. Plants expose huge interfaces to the air and soil environment. Thus, NPs are adsorbed to the plant surfaces, taken up through nano- or micrometer-scale openings of plants and are translocated within the plant body. Persistent NPs associated with plants enter the human food chain. In this Opinion, we document the occurrence and character of NPs in the environment and evaluate the need for future research on toxicological effects. Plant nanotoxicology is introduced as a discipline that explores the effects and toxicity mechanisms of NPs in plants, including transport, surface interactions and material-specific responses.

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