The increasing use of graphene-related materials (GRMs) in everyday-life products raises concerns for their possible release into the environment and consequent impact on organisms. GRMs have widely varying effects on plants and, according to recent evidences, graphene oxide (GO) has the potential to interfere with the sexual reproduction owing to its acidic properties and production residues. Here, stigmas of the model plant Cucurbita pepo (summer squash) were subjected to simulated dry depositions of GO and GO purified from production residues (PGO). Stigmas were then hand-pollinated and GRM deposition was checked by ESEM and confocal microscopy. Analysis of stigma integrity, pH homeostasis and pollen-stigma interactions did not reveal negative effects. Fruit and seed production were not affected, but GO depositions of 22.1 ± 7.2 ng mm-2 affected the normal development of seeds, decreasing seed dimensions, seed germination and germination speed. The elemental analysis revealed that GO has significant quantities of production residues, such as strong acids and oxidants, while PGO has only traces, which justifies the differences observed in the effects caused by the two materials. Our results show that GO depositions of up to 11.1 ± 3.6 ng mm-2, which fall within the variation range of total dry particulate matter depositions reported in the literature, are safe for reproduction of C. pepo. This is the first "safety" limit ever recorded for depositions of "out-of-the-box" GO concerning the reproduction of a seed plant. If confirmed for wind-pollinated species, it might be considered for policymaking of GRMs emissions in the air.

Interactions of airborne graphene oxides with the sexual reproduction of a model plant: When production impurities matter

Zanelli, Davide;Carniel, Fabio Candotto
;
Fortuna, Lorenzo;Pavoni, Elena;Prato, Maurizio;Tretiach, Mauro
2022

Abstract

The increasing use of graphene-related materials (GRMs) in everyday-life products raises concerns for their possible release into the environment and consequent impact on organisms. GRMs have widely varying effects on plants and, according to recent evidences, graphene oxide (GO) has the potential to interfere with the sexual reproduction owing to its acidic properties and production residues. Here, stigmas of the model plant Cucurbita pepo (summer squash) were subjected to simulated dry depositions of GO and GO purified from production residues (PGO). Stigmas were then hand-pollinated and GRM deposition was checked by ESEM and confocal microscopy. Analysis of stigma integrity, pH homeostasis and pollen-stigma interactions did not reveal negative effects. Fruit and seed production were not affected, but GO depositions of 22.1 ± 7.2 ng mm-2 affected the normal development of seeds, decreasing seed dimensions, seed germination and germination speed. The elemental analysis revealed that GO has significant quantities of production residues, such as strong acids and oxidants, while PGO has only traces, which justifies the differences observed in the effects caused by the two materials. Our results show that GO depositions of up to 11.1 ± 3.6 ng mm-2, which fall within the variation range of total dry particulate matter depositions reported in the literature, are safe for reproduction of C. pepo. This is the first "safety" limit ever recorded for depositions of "out-of-the-box" GO concerning the reproduction of a seed plant. If confirmed for wind-pollinated species, it might be considered for policymaking of GRMs emissions in the air.
8-nov-2022
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0045653522036311
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/3033778
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