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Foliar Application of Zinc Nanoparticles Improves Photosynthetic Performance in Wheat Plants

Prabha Rai Kalal, Ayushi Gupta, Anjana Jajoo


The present study investigated the impact of foliar spray of zinc oxide nanoparticles on physiological and biochemical reactions in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) Foliar spray with zinc oxide nanoparticles at 10 mg/l positively increased pigment content and biomass in comparison to control while a significant reduction in chlorophyll content and biomass accumulation was observed at higher concentration of 1000 mg/l. A study of Chlorophyll a fluorescence parameters at 10 mg/l showed an improved primary photochemistry in plants by improving the performance of water splitting complex at the donor side of Photosystem II. The number of active reaction centers per chlorophyll molecule increased by 31%. However, all these parameters were drastically decreased on subjecting plants to 1000 mg/l. In addition, higher concentration of nanoparticles induced oxidative stress in plants which resulted in significant increase in activities of antioxidants including peroxidase, superoxide dismutase and catalase. A study of lipid peroxidation showed a prominent increase by 20% in malondialdehyde content showing membrane instability in plant cells at 1000 mg/l. However, the activities of these antioxidants were decreased at 10 mg/l owing to low reactive oxygen species levels as compared to control. The results obtained present an important insight to the foliar application of zinc oxide nanoparticles as an alternative to current soil fertilization strategies to improve crop yield of wheat.


Zinc oxide nanoparticles, foliar spray, phytotoxic, photosynthesis, Chlorophyll a, fluorescence

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