Impact of Silver Nanoparticles on Growth and Gene Expression in Cacti

Greg Howard
26th May, 2024

Impact of Silver Nanoparticles on Growth and Gene Expression in Cacti

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • Researchers at Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes studied the effects of green-synthesized silver nanoparticles (BvAgNP) on two plant species, Mammillaria bombycina and Selenicereus undatus
  • BvAgNPs inhibited rooting and bud initiation in M. bombycina but promoted rooting and bud generation in S. undatus at a 25 mg/L concentration
  • The expression of glyoxalase genes increased in M. bombycina, indicating a stress response, while it decreased in S. undatus except in root tissues
Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) have been increasingly used in plant tissue culture as growth stimulants. These nanoparticles have shown potential in promoting bud initiation, germination, and rooting. A recent study conducted by researchers at the Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes[1] investigated the effects of green-synthesized AgNPs (BvAgNP) on the growth and development of Mammillaria bombycina and Selenicereus undatus in vitro, as well as the expression of glyoxalase genes. In the study, BvAgNPs were synthesized using extracts from Beta vulgaris var. cicla and were previously verified for their seed disinfectant and antimicrobial properties. The researchers treated explants from M. bombycina and S. undatus with 25, 50, and 100 mg/L of BvAgNP and evaluated the morphological characteristics and glyoxalase gene expression after 90 days. The results showed that all BvAgNP treatments inhibited rooting in M. bombycina, and no bud initiation was observed. Conversely, S. undatus exhibited a maximum response in rooting and bud generation at the 25 mg/L concentration. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) revealed a higher number of vacuoles in stem cells treated with BvAgNP compared to the control for both species. Furthermore, the expression of glyoxalase genes increased in M. bombycina across all treatments, while it decreased in S. undatus, except for an increase in root tissues. The findings of this study align with earlier research demonstrating the adverse impacts of nanoparticles on plant growth and development. For instance, a study on Pisium sativum seedlings showed that silver nanoparticles negatively affected growth parameters, photosynthetic pigments, and chlorophyll fluorescence[2]. However, the addition of nitric oxide (NO) was found to mitigate these adverse effects by regulating Ag uptake and enhancing the antioxidant system. Similarly, the current study suggests that while BvAgNPs can inhibit certain growth aspects in M. bombycina, they can also promote rooting and bud generation in S. undatus at specific concentrations. The increased expression of glyoxalase genes in M. bombycina could be indicative of a stress response mechanism. Glyoxalase genes are part of the glyoxalase system, which plays a crucial role in detoxifying methylglyoxal (MG), a cytotoxic byproduct of cellular metabolism. In a previous study, the heat-inducible molecular chaperone Hsp31 was found to exhibit glyoxalase activity, converting MG to less harmful compounds[3]. This activity is essential for maintaining cellular homeostasis under stress conditions, which might explain the upregulation of glyoxalase genes in M. bombycina treated with BvAgNPs. Additionally, the interaction between salicylic acid (SA), ethylene, and nitric oxide (NO) in mitigating oxidative stress and enhancing plant tolerance to environmental stressors has been well-documented[4]. SA, in particular, has been shown to improve photosynthesis and growth in rice plants subjected to arsenic stress by modulating the antioxidant defense system and reducing oxidative stress through its interplay with ethylene and NO. This crosstalk could provide insights into developing strategies to enhance plant resilience to nanoparticle-induced stress. In conclusion, the study by the Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes highlights the differential effects of BvAgNPs on the growth and development of M. bombycina and S. undatus. While BvAgNPs inhibited rooting in M. bombycina, they promoted rooting and bud generation in S. undatus at optimal concentrations. The study also underscores the importance of understanding the molecular mechanisms, such as glyoxalase gene expression, underlying plant responses to nanoparticle treatments. These findings contribute to the growing body of knowledge on the use of nanoparticles in plant tissue culture and their potential applications in agriculture and horticulture.

BiotechGeneticsPlant Science


Main Study

1) Effect of BvAgNP on growth, development, and glyoxalase gene expression analysis in Mammillaria bombycina and Selenicereus undatus.

Published 25th May, 2024

Related Studies

2) Nitric oxide alleviates silver nanoparticles (AgNps)-induced phytotoxicity in Pisum sativum seedlings.

3) Hsp31 of Escherichia coli K-12 is glyoxalase III.

4) Crosstalk of plant growth regulators protects photosynthetic performance from arsenic damage by modulating defense systems in rice.

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