The effects of nano-TiO2 on seed germination, development and mitosis of root tip cells of Vicia narbonensis L. and Zea mays L

Research paper by Monica Ruffini Castiglione, Lucia Giorgetti, Chiara Geri, Roberto Cremonini

Indexed on: 10 Nov '10Published on: 10 Nov '10Published in: Journal of Nanoparticle Research


This study aimed to provide new information about phyto-toxicology of nano-TiO2 on plant systems. To contribute to the evaluation of the potential harmful effects of the nanoparticles on monocots and dicots we considered their effects on seed germination and root elongation applying a concentration range from 0.2 to 4.0‰ in the plants Zea mays L. and Vicia narbonensis L. Moreover, we achieved a genotoxicity study at cytological level in root meristems by means of traditional cytogenetic approach, to evidence possible alterations in mitotic activity, chromosomal aberrations, and micronuclei release. From these analyses it comes out that nano-TiO2 particles, after short-term exposure and under our experimental conditions, delayed germination progression for the first 24 h in both materials. Root elongation was affected only after treatment with the higher nano-TiO2 concentration. Further significant effects were detected showing mitotic index reduction and concentration-dependent increase in the aberration emergence that evidenced a nano-TiO2-induced genotoxic effect for both species.