Authors: Mohamed H. Lahiani, Enkeleda Dervishi, Jihua Chen, Zeid Nima, Alain Gaume, Alexandru S. Biris, and Mariya Khodakovskaya
Publication: Applied Materials and Interfaces, Vol. 5, No. 16
Multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) affected seed germination, growth, and the development of three important crops (barley, soybean, corn). Early seed germination and activation of growth in exposed seedlings was observed when MWCNTs were added to sterile agar medium. Similarly, seed germination was activated for all tested crop species when MWCNTs were deposited on seed surfaces. The ability of MWCNTs to penetrate the seed coats of corn, barley, and soybean was proven by detection of nanotube agglomerates inside MWCNT-exposed seeds using Raman spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis revealed that the expression of genes encoding several types of water channel proteins was increased in soybean, corn, and barley seeds coated with MWCNTs compared with uncoated control seeds. Our results indicate that the positive effect of MWCNTs on the germination and growth of seedlings is reproducible between crop species and can be observed for different methods of delivering carbon nanotubes. Such studies could prove the significant potential of carbon nanotubes as regulators of germination and plant growth.