Accumulation, transfer and impact of nanoparticles in higher plants

Nanoparticles are widely used in commercial products and may therefore be released in the environment and reach the rhizosphere. Our aim is to quantify the accumulation of NPs and to assess their potential toxic effects on higher plants. This work is carried out on in vitro, hydroponics models where we reproduce acute exposure scenarios.


Plants are exposed to high concentrations of nanoparticles (NPs) or carbon nanotubes (NTC). Physiological and morphological changes of plants, caused by these nanomaterials, are characterized. In parallel, accumulation, distribution and mobilization of NPs and NTC in plant tissues is imaged by electron microscopy, X-ray microfluorescence (µXRF), particle-induced X-ray emission (PIXE). Accumulation is quantified by inductively-coupled plasma mass spectroscopy (ICP-MS) and locally by PIXE. For assessing NTC accumulation in plant shoots, we used a very interesting tool developed in CEA, i.e. 14C-radiolabelled MWCNT. These NTC are directly produced using a 14C-radiolabelled precursor, and high specific activity is achieved. Thanks to this tool, the distribution of NTCs in plants can be imaged but also precisely quantified. Using these techniques, we demonstrated that TiO2-NPs and NTCs accumulate in plant roots and translocate to the shoots, however the rate of translocation is very low (Larue et al., 2012a; Larue et al., 2012b; Larue et al., 2012c).


In collaboration with ISTERRE (UJF/CNRS, Grenoble), EAWAG (Zürich) and IBEB (CEA/CNRS, Cadarache) we currently work on the fate of NPs in the process of wastewater treatment, and on the potential release of NPs in sewage sludge. EAWAG developed a pilot wastewater treatment plant, and we introduced some silver NPs in this plant. The life cycle of NPs is studied, sewage sludge exiting this pilot station is used for soil amendment, and plants are grown on these soils. The impact of NPs on plant development and soil bacterial communities is currently studied.



This project is funded by the Labex SERENADE and previously received funding from Ile de France region via the C’Nano framework (PLUTON project) and CNRS (PEPS projects).




C. Larue, H. Castillo-Michel, S. Sobanska, L. Cecillon, S. Bureau, C. Dumat, V. Barthes, L. Ouerdane, M. Carrière, G. Sarret. Foliar exposure of the crop Lactuca sativa to silver nanoparticles: Evidence for internalization and changes in Ag speciation. J Hazard Mater, 264: 98-106, 2014.


C. Larue, M. Pinault, B. Czarny, D. Georgin, D. Jaillard, N. Bendiab, M. Mayne-L’Hermite, F. Taran, V. Dive, M. Carrière. Quantitative evaluation of multi-walled carbon nanotubes uptake in wheat and rapeseed. J Hazard Mater, 228: 155-163, 2012. 4.17


C. Larue,  G. Veronesi, A.M. Flank, S. Surblé, N. Herlin-Boime, M. Carrière. Comparative uptake and impact of TiO2 nanoparticles in wheat and rapeseed. J Toxicol Environ Health A, 75(13-15): 722-734, 2012.


C. Larue, J. Laurette, N. Herlin-Boime, H. Khodja, B. Fayard, A.M. Flank, F. Brisset, M. Carrière. Accumulation, translocation and impact of TiO2 nanoparticles in wheat (Triticum aestivum spp.). Sci Total Environ, 431: 197-208, 2012.


Maj : 27/03/2014 (908)


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