Cerium Oxide Nanoparticles and Bulk Cerium Oxide Leading to Different Physiological and Biochemical Responses in Brassica rapa. Academic Article uri icon


  • Cerium oxide nanoparticles (CeO2NPs) have been incorporated into many commercial products, and their potential release into the environment through the use and disposal of these products has caused serious concerns. Despite the previous efforts and rapid progress on elucidating the environmental impact of CeO2NPs, the long-term impact of CeO2NPs to plants, a key component of the ecosystem, is still not well understood. The potentially different impact of CeO2NPs and their bulk counterparts to plants is also unclear. The main objectives of this study were (1) to investigate whether continued irrigation with solutions containing different concentrations of CeO2NPs (0, 10, and 100 mg/L) would induce physiological and biochemical adjustments in Brassica rapa in soil growing conditions and (2) to determine whether CeO2NPs and bulk CeO2 particles exert different impacts on plants. The results indicated that bulk CeO2 at 10 and 100 mg/L enhanced plant biomass by 28% and 35%, respectively, while CeO2NPs at equivalent concentrations did not. While the bulk CeO2 treatment resulted in significantly higher concentrations of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in plant tissues at the vegetative stage, CeO2NPs led to significantly higher H2O2 levels in plant tissues at the floral stage. The activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD) in Brassica rapa also displayed a growth-stage dependent response to different sizes of CeO2 while catalase (CAT) activity was not affected by either size of CeO2 throughout the life cycle of Brassica rapa. Altogether, the results demonstrated that plant responses to CeO2 exposure varied with the particle sizes and the growth stages of plants.

published proceedings

  • Environ Sci Technol

author list (cited authors)

  • Ma, X., Wang, Q., Rossi, L., & Zhang, W.

citation count

  • 62

complete list of authors

  • Ma, Xingmao||Wang, Qiang||Rossi, Lorenzo||Zhang, Weilan

publication date

  • July 2016