Particle-size dependent accumulation and trophic transfer of cerium oxide through a terrestrial food chain. Academic Article uri icon


  • The accumulation and trophic transfer of nanoparticle (NP) or bulk CeO2 through a terrestrial food chain was evaluated. Zucchini (Cucurbita pepo L.) was planted in soil with 0 or 1228 g/g bulk or NP CeO2. After 28 d, zucchini tissue Ce content was determined by ICP-MS. Leaf tissue from each treatment was used to feed crickets (Acheta domesticus). After 14 d, crickets were analyzed for Ce content or were fed to wolf spiders (family Lycosidae). NP CeO2 significantly suppressed flower mass relative to control and bulk treatments. The Ce content of zucchini was significantly greater when exposure was in the NP form. The flowers, leaves, stems, and roots of zucchini exposed to bulk CeO2 contained 93.3, 707, 331, and 119,000 ng/g, respectively; NP-exposed plants contained 153, 1510, 479, and 567 000 ng/g, respectively. Crickets fed NP CeO2-exposed zucchini leaves contained significantly more Ce (33.6 ng/g) than did control or bulk-exposed insects (15.0-15.2 ng/g). Feces from control, bulk, and NP-exposed crickets contained Ce at 248, 393, and 1010 ng/g, respectively. Spiders that consumed crickets from control or bulk treatments contained nonquantifiable Ce; NP-exposed spiders contained Ce at 5.49 ng/g. These findings show that NP CeO2 accumulates in zucchini at greater levels than equivalent bulk materials and that this greater NP intake results in trophic transfer and possible food chain contamination.

published proceedings

  • Environ Sci Technol

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Hawthorne, J., De la Torre Roche, R., Xing, B., Newman, L. A., Ma, X., Majumdar, S., Gardea-Torresdey, J., & White, J. C.

citation count

  • 117

complete list of authors

  • Hawthorne, Joseph||De la Torre Roche, Roberto||Xing, Baoshan||Newman, Lee A||Ma, Xingmao||Majumdar, Sanghamitra||Gardea-Torresdey, Jorge||White, Jason C

publication date

  • November 2014