Extracellular silica nanocoat formed by layer-by-layer (LBL) self-assembly confers aluminum resistance in root border cells of pea (Pisum sativum)
Background: Soil acidity (and associated Al toxicity) is a major factor limiting crop production worldwide and threatening global food security. Electrostatic layer-by-layer (LBL) self-assembly provides a convenient and versatile method to form an extracellular silica nanocoat, which possess the ability to protect cell from the damage of physical stress or toxic substances. In this work, we have tested a hypothesis that extracellular silica nanocoat formed by LBL self-assembly will protect root border cells (RBCs) and enhance their resistance to Al toxicity.
Results: Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) were used to compare the properties of RBCs surface coated with nanoshells with those that were exposed to Al without coating. The accumulation of Al, reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, and the activity of mitochondria were detected by a laser-scanning confocal microscopy. We found that a crystal-like layer of silica nanoparticles on the surface of RBCs functions as an extracellular Al-proof coat by immobilizing Al in the apoplast and preventing its accumulation in the cytosol. The silica nanoshells on the RBCs had a positive impact on maintaining the integrity of the plasma and mitochondrial membranes, preventing ROS burst and ensuring higher mitochondria activity and cell viability under Al toxicity.
Conclusions: The study provides evidence that silica nanoshells confers RBCs Al resistance by restraining of Al in the silica-coat, suggesting that this method can be used an efficient tool to prevent multibillion-dollar losses caused by Al toxicity to agricultural crop production.
Publication titleJournal of Nanobiotechnology
Department/SchoolTasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA)
PublisherBioMed Central Ltd
Place of publicationUnited Kingdom
Rights statementCopyright 2019 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/