Mercuric oxide nanoparticles deferred germination and devastated root anatomy of maize

Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Department of Botany and Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Beni-Suef University, 62521 Beni-Suef, Egypt.

2 1- Department of Botany and Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Beni-Suef University. 2- Laboratory for Molecular Plant Physiology and Biotechnology, Department of Biology, University of Antwerp, Groenenborgerlaan 171, B-2020, Antwerp 2020, Belgium

3 Faculty of postgraduate studies for advanced sciences, Beni-Suef University, 62521 Beni-Suef, Egypt

4 Department of Botany and Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Beni-Suef University, 62521 Beni-Suef, Egypt


Given the widespread use of mercuric oxide NPs (HgO-NPs), they have become increasingly prevalent in the soil ecosystem. Consequently, it is important to promptly evaluate their phytotoxic impacts. To this end, we have investigated the effects of HgO-NPs (0-200 mg/L) on germination and early growth of maize. Moreover, we have evaluated the interactive influences of HgO-NPs toxicity on the elongation and anatomical structures of primary roots. Relative to control, HgO-NPs decreased the germination percentage, speed and rate, but increased the mean germination time, mean daily germination time and time to 50% germination. The length and biomass of root and shoot and seedling vigour indices have significantly deteriorated. The inhibitory impacts of HgO-NPs on growth parameters were more pronounced in root than in shoot. The response of root was concomitant with dose and time-dependent inhibitions in root elongation and significant drops in root diameter, stele size, cortex size, and cortical cells count. The consequences of HgO-NPs were dose-dependent. For instance, the decrease of maize germination, growth, root elongation, and anatomy were more evident at 200 mg/L HgO-NPs compared to other doses and control. Overall, this study suggests that the presence of HgO-NPs leads to phytotoxic effects on germination and growth of young seedlings, highlighting a noteworthy challenge and environmental concern.


Main Subjects

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