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Nanoscale plastic particles are widely found in the terrestrial environment and being increasingly studied in recent years. However, the knowledge of their translocation and accumulation mechanism controlled by nanoplastic characterizations in plant tissues is limited, especially in plant cells. Here, 20 mg L-1 polystyrene nanoparticles (PS NPs) with different sizes and amino/carboxy groups were employed to investigate the internalization process in wheat roots and cells. From the results, we found that the uptake of small-size PS NPs in the root tissues was increased compared to that of large-size ones, but no PS NPs were observed in the vascular cylinder. Similar results were observed in their cellular uptake process. Besides, the cell wall could block the entry of large-size PS NPs while the cell membrane could not. The -NH2 group on the PS NPs surface could benefit their tissular/cellular translocation compared to the -COOH group. The internalization of PS NPs was controlled by both particle size and surface functional group, and the size should be the primary factor. Our findings offer important information for understanding the PS NPs behaviors in plant tissues, especially at the cellular level, and assessing their potential risk to food safety, quality, and agricultural sustainability.


Jiahui Zhu, Jia Wang, Ruonan Chen, Qiurun Feng, Xinhua Zhan. Cellular Process of Polystyrene Nanoparticles Entry into Wheat Roots. Environmental science & technology. 2022 May 17;56(10):6436-6444

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PMID: 35475335

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