Addition-Omission of Zinc, Copper, and Boron Nano and Bulk Oxide Particles Demonstrate Element and Size -Specific Response of Soybean to Micronutrients Exposure

Plant response to microelements exposure can be modulated based on particle size. However, studies are lacking on the roles of particle size and specific microelements in mixed exposure systems designed for plant nutrition, rather than toxicology. Here, an addition-omission strategy was used to address particle-size and elementspecific effects in soybean exposed to a mixture of nano and bulk scale oxide particles of Zn (2 mg Zn/kg), Cu (1 mg Cu/kg) and B (1 mg B/kg) in soil. Compared to the control, mixtures of oxide particles of both sizes significantly (p b 0.05) promoted grain yield and overall (shoot and grain) Zn accumulation, but suppressed overall P accumulation. However, the mixed nano-oxides, but not the mixed bulk-oxides, specifically stimulated shoot growth (47%), flower formation (63%), shoot biomass (34%), and shoot N (53%) and K (42%) accumulation. Compared by particle size, omission of individual elements from the mixtures evoked significant responses that were nano or bulk-specific, including shoot growth promotion (29%) by bulk-B; inhibition (51%) of flower formation by nano-Cu; stimulation (57%) of flower formation by bulk-B; grain yield suppression (40%) by nano-Zn; B uptake enhancement (34%) by bulk-Cu; P uptake stimulation by nano-Zn (14%) or bulk-B (21%); residual soil N (80%) and Zn (42%) enhancement by nano-Cu; and residual soil Cu enhancement by nano-Zn (72%) and nano-B (62%). Zn was responsible for driving the agronomic (biomass and grain yield) responses in this soil, with concurrent ramifications for environmental management (N and P) and human health (Zn nutrition). Overall, compared to bulk microelements, nanoscale microelements played a greater role in evoking plant responses.
Nitrogen-use efficiency, Zinc, Phosphorus
Dimkpa, C.O., U. Singh, P.S. Bindraban, I.O. Adisa, W.H. Elmer, J.L. Gardea-Torresdey, and J.C. White. 2019. “Addition-Omission of Zinc, Copper, and Boron Nano and Bulk Particles Demonstrate Element and SizeSpecific Response of Soybean to Micronutrients Exposure. Science of the Total Environment, 665:606-616.