Research on Capitol Hill


Do CuO Nanoparticles Affect Release of Protective Border Cells from Roots?

Presenter and Co-Presenter(s)

Hannah Wagner, Utah State University

Faculty Mentor

Anne Anderson


CuO nanoparticles (NPs) may be formulated into fertilizers to aid in the supply of Cu, an essential element for cells, to boost plant performance. However, CuO NPs at high doses limit root extension by as yet undetermined mechanisms. This work focuses on the impact CuO NPs have on border cells, which are differentiated cells surrounding the root tip providing a protective function. These cells uniquely become released when protection of the tip is needed. Suspension in water is one such stress. This research examined whether CuO NPs promoted release of border cells from the globally important crop, wheat. Wheat plants were grown in sand amended with defined doses of CuO NPs. Root tips from 6-day old seedlings were dyed, and examined microscopically for border cell release. Border cell release was not increased by exposure to CuO NPs. Further studies will determine whether the released cells remain viable or whether cell death, due to accumulation of toxic reactive oxygen species, has occurred. Although NPs alter some aspects of a root's growth and function, when crops are exposed to NPs some part of their defensive line against infection will remain intact in the form of released border cells.

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Research On Capitol Hill 2015

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