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Single Walled Carbon Nanotubes Exhibit Dual-Phase Regulation to Exposed Arabidopsis Mesophyll Cells

Hengguang Yuan12, Shanglian Hu1, Peng Huang2, Hua Song2, Kan Wang2, Jing Ruan2, Rong He2 and Daxiang Cui2*

Author Affiliations

1 College of Life Science and Engineering, Southwest University of Science and Technology, 621002 Mianyang, People's Republic of China

2 Department of Bio-Nano Science and Engineering, National Key Laboratory of Nano/Micro Fabrication Technology, Key Laboratory for Thin Film and Microfabrication of Ministry of Education, Institute of Micro-Nano Science and Technology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 800 Dongchuan Road, 200240 Shanghai, People's Republic of China

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Nanoscale Res Lett 2011, 6:44  doi:10.1007/s11671-010-9799-3

Published: 28 September 2010


Herein we are the first to report that single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) exhibit dual-phase regulation to Arabidopsis mesophyll cells exposed to different concentration of SWCNTs. The mesophyll protoplasts were prepared by enzyme digestion, and incubated with 15, 25, 50, 100 μg/ml SWCNTs for 48 h, and then were observed by optical microscopy and transmission electron microscopy, the reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation was measured. Partial protoplasts were stained with propidium iodide and 4'-6- diamidino-2-phenylindole, partial protoplasts were incubated with fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled SWCNTs, and observed by fluorescence microscopy. Results showed that SWCNTs could traverse both the plant cell wall and cell membrane, with less than or equal to 50 μg/ml in the culture medium, SWCNTs stimulated plant cells to grow out trichome clusters on their surface, with more than 50 μg/ml SWCNTs in the culture medium, SWCNTs exhibited obvious toxic effects to the protoplasts such as increasing generation of ROS, inducing changes of protoplast morphology, changing green leaves into yellow, and inducing protoplast cells' necrosis and apoptosis. In conclusion, single walled carbon nanotubes can get through Arabidopsis mesophyll cell wall and membrane, and exhibit dose-dependent dual-phase regulation to Arabidopsis mesophyll protoplasts such as low dose stimulating cell growth, and high dose inducing cells' ROS generation, necrosis or apoptosis.

Single walled carbon nanotube; Arabidopsis mesophyll cells; Cellular uptake; Toxicity; Necrosis; Apoptosis; ROS