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With increasing plastic consumption, the large amount of polystyrene nanoplastics (PS-NPs) in agricultural soil may not only directly affect the plant growth, but also indirectly affect the abiotic stress tolerance in crops. In this study, the barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) was irrigated with 2 g L-1 PS-NPs (65.776 ± 0.528 nm) solution for 7 days, then subjected to low temperature (2 ℃) for 24 h. The imaging of protoplasts indicated that polymethylmethacrylate nanoplastics could across the cell wall and accumulate in plant cells. The PS-NPs significantly decreased Rubisco activities and ATP production, hence limiting the photosynthetic carbon assimilation in barley under low temperature. The PS-NPs accumulated in cells also caused the significantly decreased activities of key enzymes involved in sucrolytic, glycolysis and starch metabolism pathways, including UDP-glucose pyrophorylase, ADP-Glucose pyrophosphorylase, phosphoglucomutase, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, phosphoglucoisomerase, fructokinase and phosphofructokinase. In addition, under low temperature, the PS-NPs presence significantly reduced the activities of superoxide dismutase, ascorbate peroxidase and catalase in chloroplasts, and significantly reduced the activities of ascorbate peroxidase and catalase in mitochondria. Thus, it is suggested that the PS-NPs accumulated in plant cells impaired the low temperature tolerance in barley mainly by the negative effects on photosynthetic carbon assimilation, carbohydrate metabolism and ROS homeostasis in sub-cellular level. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Zongshuai Wang, Shuxin Li, Shulian Jian, Fan Ye, Tianya Wang, Lei Gong, Xiangnan Li. Low temperature tolerance is impaired by polystyrene nanoplastics accumulated in cells of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) plants. Journal of hazardous materials. 2022 Mar 15;426:127826

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PMID: 34823951

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