Application of Carbon Nanotubes as Growth Regulators/Enhancers of Biomass

PROBLEM

Plant biologists in the pharmaceutical, agro-biotechnology and bioenergy industries are continually seeking compounds to significantly activate cell division in cultures of valuable plant cells. Existing compounds such as phytohormones are not always effective in the industrial scale. More effective methods or compounds are needed to stimulate plant tissue growth.

Source ACS NANO: (A) Biomass accumulation of culture of tobacco cells grown on regular MS medium, MS medium supplemented with activated carbon, and MS medium supplemented with MWCNTs. (B) Differences in growth of control cells (0) and cells exposed to activated carbon (AC) and MWCNTs in highest tested dose (500 μg/mL). Equal amount of biological material (300 mg) was used for all experimental conditions and all replicates.

Source ACS NANO: (A) Biomass accumulation of culture of tobacco cells grown on regular MS medium, MS medium supplemented with activated carbon, and MS medium supplemented with MWCNTs. (B) Differences in growth of control cells (0) and cells exposed to activated carbon (AC) and MWCNTs in highest tested dose (500 μg/mL). Equal amount of biological material (300 mg) was used for all experimental conditions and all replicates.

SOLUTION

By using nanomaterials such as multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNT), researchers at UALR have found a new effective way to increase the yield of plant cell biomass. Researchers have observed that by adding low doses of carbon nanotubes to standard growth media, it affects the expression of a number of genes that are essential for cellular functions resulting in significantly higher yield of plant cell tissue growth when compared to existing growth regulators or activated carbon. As a result, carbon nanotubes can act as growth regulators/enhancers for plant cells.

ADVANTAGES:

• Increase in overall production of plant cell biomass
• Reduction in growth time
• Low cost of suggested medium supplement

OPPORTUNITIES TO WORK TOGETHER:

Sponsored Research
Licensing

Related Publications:

ACS Nano, 2012, 6 (3), pp 2128–2135 DOI: 10.1021/nn204643g

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About the Lead Researcher:

Dr. Mariya Khodakovskaya Mariya Khodakovskaya 2013

Areas of Expertise

  • Metabolic Engineering
  • Plant Transformation
  • Plant Tissue Culture
  • Nanobiotechnology
  • Plant Stress Signaling
  • Genetic engieering of ornamental plants

Over 30 publications, including published work in Science, PNAS, ACS Nano, Small etc.

Pending/Awarded Patent Applications

  • “Method and composition for increasing branching and flowering response in plants” (McAvoy, Khodakovskaya, Li)
  • “Method and composition for increasing plant survival and viability under cold and/or dark storage conditions” (McAvoy, Khodakovskaya, Li)
  • “Method of using carbon nanotubes to affect seed germination and plant growth“ (Khodakovskaya, Biris)
  • “Increase of stress tolerance in plants by silencing of gene of calcium-dependent lipid-binding protein with C2 domain” (Khodakovskaya)
  • “Activation of plant cell culture growth by introduction of carbon nanotubes in growth medium” (Khodakovskaya, Biris)