The aims of our research project

"Exploring the impact of nanoparticles on productivity, metal uptake and iron metabolism of plants" is a scientific research project supported by the Hungarian National Research, Development and Innovation Office (NKFIH) under project No. K115784 & K115913. The research is to be carried out during the years of 2016-2019. Press the link above to learn about the aims of our project.
Z. Klencsar
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The aims of our research project

Postby Z. Klencsar » Wed Jun 22, 2016 8:32 pm

Research of the preparation routes, peculiar properties and possible applications of nanoparticles is currently one of the main focus of natural sciences. In this diverse field, our research project sets out to investigate two lesser known sides of nanoparticles: their potential use as fertilizers useful to resolve or alleviate problems of agricultural crop production related to micronutrient constraints, and the potentially unfavorable effects exerted on plants by nanoparticles possibly released from the industry and consumer products to the environment. We explore how interactions between plants and nanoparticles influence the productivity, metal uptake and iron metabolism in plants with different iron utilization strategies such as cucumber (strategy-I) and wheat (strategy-II) for example. We apply a wide range of physical, chemical and biological techniques for the study, which promises with the achievement of significant new results that have relevance to basic science among others in the fields of nanoparticle-related metal uptake and iron metabolism of plants, plant-nanoparticle interactions and possible translocation and accumulation of nanoparticles in plants. Given that nanoparticle-based fertilizers may alleviate problems of agricultural crop production related to micronutrient constraints with potential influence on human nutrition via the food chain, as well as that non-essential transition metals when accumulated in edible parts of plants can also have toxic effects on humans feeding on them, the results of our study may also extend our knowledge in connection with practical agricultural, environmental and healthcare issues.

In the frame of the project we proceed

  1. by performing the preparation of nanoparticle samples with various desired compositions,
  2. by carrying out their morphological, structural and magnetic characterization in order to learn their actual attributes,
  3. by assessing their effects on plants via controlled plant-growth experiments under laboratory conditions,
  4. by assessing their effects on plants via extensive outdoor plant-growth experiments on calcareous soils,
  5. by carrying out morphological, compositional, chemical and magnetic characterization of grown plants to access information on the uptake, accumulation and fate of nanoparticles and their metal content in plants with particular attention to iron metabolism, and finally
  6. by analyzing and synthesizing the obtained results with respect to the favorable and unfavorable effects of nanoparticles on plant quality and productivity, with outlook to possible agricultural and environmental consequences.

Our research focuses mainly on iron metabolism and iron-based nanoparticles because iron is one of the most important transition metal plant nutrients. The healthy growth and physiological activity of plants require a sufficient supply of iron. Therefore, controlled exposure to selected iron-containing nanoparticles may also turn out to be beneficial to ecosystems involving plants.

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