Plants exposed to titanium dioxide nanoparticles acquired contrasting photosynthetic and morphological strategies depending on the growing light intensity: a case study in radish

Sci Rep. 2023 Apr 11;13(1):5873. doi: 10.1038/s41598-023-32466-y.


Due to the photocatalytic property of titanium dioxide (TiO2), its application may be dependent on the growing light environment. In this study, radish plants were cultivated under four light intensities (75, 150, 300, and 600 μmol m-2 s-1 photosynthetic photon flux density, PPFD), and were weekly sprayed (three times in total) with TiO2 nanoparticles at different concentrations (0, 50, and 100 μmol L-1). Based on the obtained results, plants used two contrasting strategies depending on the growing PPFD. In the first strategy, as a result of exposure to high PPFD, plants limited their leaf area and send the biomass towards the underground parts to limit light-absorbing surface area, which was confirmed by thicker leaves (lower specific leaf area). TiO2 further improved the allocation of biomass to the underground parts when plants were exposed to higher PPFDs. In the second strategy, plants dissipated the absorbed light energy into the heat (NPQ) to protect the photosynthetic apparatus from high energy input due to carbohydrate and carotenoid accumulation as a result of exposure to higher PPFDs or TiO2 concentrations. TiO2 nanoparticle application up-regulated photosynthetic functionality under low, while down-regulated it under high PPFD. The best light use efficiency was noted at 300 m-2 s-1 PPFD, while TiO2 nanoparticle spray stimulated light use efficiency at 75 m-2 s-1 PPFD. In conclusion, TiO2 nanoparticle spray promotes plant growth and productivity, and this response is magnified as cultivation light intensity becomes limited.

PMID:37041194 | PMC:PMC10090060 | DOI:10.1038/s41598-023-32466-y


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