Publications by authors named "Jason C White"

154 Publications

Potential application of titanium dioxide nanoparticles to improve the nutritional quality of coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.).

J Hazard Mater 2020 05 6;389:121837. Epub 2019 Dec 6.

Laboratory for Earth Surface Processes, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China. Electronic address:

TiO nanoparticles (nTiO) have been widely used in many disciplines. However, whether they can be used to improve crops growth and nutritional quality is unknown. In this study, coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.) was treated with 0, 50, 100, 200, and 400 mg/L nTiO to evaluate their possible benefit to plant growth and nutritional quality under hydroponic conditions. Our observations showed that 50 mg/L nTiO only slightly but insignificantly increased the root and shoot fresh biomass by 13.2 % and 4.1 %, respectively, relative to the control. nTiO at this level promoted shoot K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn, Zn, and B accumulation, while spatial distribution of K, Ca, Fe, Mn, Cu and Zn in coriander leaves was not affected. No nTiO internalization or translocation to shoots occurred. 400 mg/L nTiO significantly reduced root fresh biomass by 15.8 % and water content by 6.7 %. Moreover, this high dose induced root cell membrane wrinkling, attributable to their aggregation and adsorption on root surfaces. At 100-400 mg/L, antioxidant defense systems (SOD, CAT and APX) in plant were triggered to alleviate oxidative stress. At an appropriate dose (50 mg/L), nTiO can improve nutrient quality of edible tissues without exerting toxicity to plant or posing health risk to consumers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2019.121837DOI Listing
May 2020

Copper stress in flooded soil: Impact on enzyme activities, microbial community composition and diversity in the rhizosphere of Salix integra.

Sci Total Environ 2020 Feb 23;704:135350. Epub 2019 Nov 23.

Stockbridge School of Agriculture, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003, United States.

Climate change has increased flooding frequency, making the heavy metal polluted areas more vulnerable, and led to increased global land degradation. Information about the alteration of soil microbiota under heavy metal pollution and flooding is still rather limited. Fast-growing trees are candidates for phytoremediation of heavy metal polluted soils. Therefore, the impact of Cu pollution on microbiota in soil used for cultivating Salix integra Thunb. was investigated with and without flooding for 60 d. Bacterial and fungal communities were accessed via partial 16S rRNA (V-V) and internal transcribed spacer (ITS) genes. The activity of invertase, urease and cellulase were markedly decreased by 28.5-59%, 55.0-76.7% and 17.3-34.1%, respectively, with increasing Cu levels. Flooding significantly increased the activity of polyphenol oxidase and peroxidase by 56.3% and 41.4% at the highest Cu level compared to its respective non-flooded condition. High Cu concentration significantly decreased the richness and diversity of the bacterial community, and fungi were more sensitive than bacteria under flooding conditions. Redundancy analysis suggests that Cu, Fe and soil organic matter are the key determinants affecting the composition of microbial communities. Our findings provide new insight into the responses of soil microbes to Cu-contamination and contribute to our understanding of metal toxicity in soil-woody plant systems under flooded conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.135350DOI Listing
February 2020

Metalloid and Metal Oxide Nanoparticles Suppress Sudden Death Syndrome of Soybean.

J Agric Food Chem 2020 Jan 17;68(1):77-87. Epub 2019 Dec 17.

Soybeans () (V3 stage) were sprayed once with nanoparticles (NPs) of AgO, B, CeO, CuO, MnO, MoO, SiO, TiO, or ZnO and exposed to , the cause of sudden death syndrome. Up to 80% root rot was observed in greenhouse experiments. However, NP CuO, B, MoO, or ZnO reduced the root rot severity by 17-25%. Infected roots and shoots had significant changes in B, Mg, P, S, Si, and Zn, but NP treatment restored levels to that of the healthy control. For example, the increased root Mg and Mn contents induced by disease were reversed by NP B and Mn amendments. In vitro assays found that the NPs did not inhibit the pathogen. This, along with the restoration of altered nutrient levels in the plant tissue, suggests that modulated plant nutrition increased disease defense. Treatment of seedlings with nanoscale micronutrients may be a new tool in promoting soybean health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jafc.9b06082DOI Listing
January 2020

Zinc oxide nanoparticles alleviate drought-induced alterations in sorghum performance, nutrient acquisition, and grain fortification.

Sci Total Environ 2019 Oct 25;688:926-934. Epub 2019 Jun 25.

The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, 123 Huntington Street, New Haven, CT 06511, United States.

Drought is a major environmental event affecting crop productivity and nutritional quality, and potentially, human nutrition. This study evaluated drought effects on performance and nutrient acquisition and distribution in sorghum; and whether ZnO nanoparticles (ZnO-NPs) might alleviate such effects. Soil was amended with ZnO-NPs at 1, 3, and 5 mg Zn/kg, and drought was imposed 4 weeks after seed germination by maintaining the soil at 40% of field moisture capacity. Flag leaf and grain head emergence were delayed 6-17 days by drought, but the delays were reduced to 4-5 days by ZnO-NPs. Drought significantly (p < 0.05) reduced (76%) grain yield; however, ZnO-NP amendment under drought improved grain (22-183%) yield. Drought inhibited grain nitrogen (N) translocation (57%) and total (root, shoot and grain) N acquisition (22%). However, ZnO-NPs (5 mg/kg) improved (84%) grain N translocation relative to the drought control and restored total N levels to the non-drought condition. Shoot uptake of phosphorus (P) was promoted (39%) by drought, while grain P translocation was inhibited (63%); however, ZnO-NPs lowered total P acquisition under drought by 11-23%. Drought impeded shoot uptake (45%), grain translocation (71%) and total acquisition (41%) of potassium (K). ZnO-NP amendment (5 mg/kg) to drought-affected plants improved total K acquisition (16-30%) and grain K (123%), relative to the drought control. Drought lowered (32%) average grain Zn concentration; however, ZnO-NP amendments improved (94%) grain Zn under drought. This study represents the first evidence of mitigation of drought stress in full-term plants solely by exposure to ZnO-NPs in soil. The ability of ZnO-NPs to accelerate plant development, promote yield, fortify edible grains with critically essential nutrients such as Zn, and improve N acquisition under drought stress has strong implications for increasing cropping systems resilience, sustaining human/animal food/feed and nutrition security, and reducing nutrient losses and environmental pollution associated with N-fertilizers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.06.392DOI Listing
October 2019

Cadmium sulfide quantum dots impact Arabidopsis thaliana physiology and morphology.

Chemosphere 2020 Feb 21;240:124856. Epub 2019 Sep 21.

Consorzio Interuniversitario Nazionale per le Scienze Ambientali (CINSA), University of Parma, Parma, Italy.

The differential mechanisms of CdS QDs (Quantum Dots) and Cd ion toxicity to Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh were investigated. Plants were exposed to 40 and 60 mg L for CdS QDs and 76.9 and 115.2 mg L CdSO·7HO and toxicity was evaluated at 5, 20, 35 (T5, T20, T35) days after exposure. Oxidative stress upon exposure was evaluated by biochemical essays targeting non-enzymatic oxidative stress physiological parameters, including respiration efficiency, total chlorophylls, carotenoids, ABTS and DPPH radicals reduction, total phenolics, GSH redox state, lipid peroxidation. Total Cd in plants was measured with AAS. Root and leaf morphology and element content were assessed in vivo utilizing low-vacuum Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopy (ESEM) with X-ray microanalysis (EDX). This integrated approach allowed identification of unique nanoscale CdS QDs toxicity to the plants that was distinct from CdSO exposure. The analyses highlighted that CdS QDs and Cd ions effects are modulated by the developmental stage of the plant, starting from T20 till T35 the plant development was modulated by the treatments, in particular CdS QDs induced early flowering. Both treatments induced Fe accumulation in roots, but at different intensities, while CdS QDs was associated with Mn increase into plant leaf. CdSO elicited higher levels of oxidative stress compared with QDs, especially the former treatment caused more intense respiration damages and reduction in chlorophyll and carotenoids than the latter. The two types of treatments impact differently on root and leaf morphology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2019.124856DOI Listing
February 2020

Interaction of graphene oxide with co-existing arsenite and arsenate: Adsorption, transformation and combined toxicity.

Environ Int 2019 10 6;131:104992. Epub 2019 Jul 6.

Stockbridge School of Agriculture, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003, United States. Electronic address:

The outstanding commercial application potential of graphene oxide (GO) will inevitably lead to its increasing release into the environment, and then affect the environmental behavior and toxicity of conventional pollutants. Interactions between arsenite [As (III)]/arsenate [As (V)] with GO and their combined toxicity to Chlorella pyrenoidosa were investigated. Under abiotic conditions, approximately 42% of the adsorbed As (III) was oxidized by GO with simulated sunlight illumination, which was induced by electron-hole pairs on the surface of GO. Co-exposure with GO greatly enhanced the toxicity of As (III, V) to alga. When adding 10 mg/L GO, the 72 h median effect concentration of As (III) and As (V) to C. pyrendoidosa decreased to 12.7 and 9.4 mg/L from 30.1 and 16.3 mg/L in the As alone treatment, respectively. One possible mechanism by which GO enhanced As toxicity could be that GO decreased the phosphate concentration in the algal medium, and then increased the accumulation of As (V) in algae. In addition, transmission electron microscope (TEM) images demonstrated that GO acted as a carrier for As (III) and As (V) transport into the algal cells. Also, GO induced severe oxidative stress, which could have subsequently compromised important detoxification pathways (e.g., As complexation with glutathione, As methylation, and intracellular As efflux) in the algal cells. Our findings highlight the significant impact of GO on the fate and toxicity of As in the aquatic environment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2019.104992DOI Listing
October 2019

Exposure of tomato () to silver nanoparticles and silver nitrate: physiological and molecular response.

Int J Phytoremediation 2020 8;22(1):40-51. Epub 2019 Jul 8.

Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, New Haven, CT, USA.

Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are among the most widely used nanomaterials, with applications in sectors as diverse as communications, energy, medicine, and agriculture. This diverse application of AgNPs increases the risk of the release of these materials into the environment and raises the potential for transfer into plants and, subsequently, the human body. To better understand the effects of NPs in agricultural systems, this study investigates plant physiological and molecular responses upon exposure to AgNPs in comparison to silver nitrate (AgNO). Tomato seedlings () were exposed to 10, 20, or 30 mg/L silver (Ag), AgNO, or AgNPs in hydroponic media for 7 days. A number of endpoints were measured, including plant growth, photosynthetic pigments, oxidative and antioxidant responses. The results showed 2-7 times lower growth rate in plants exposed to silver compared to the control. HO and malondialdehyde as oxidative stress indicators were, respectively, 1.7 and 4 times higher in plants exposed to all forms of silver compared to the control. The antioxidative responses increased significantly in plants exposed to Ag and AgNPs compared to the control. However, plants exposed to AgNO showed up to 50% lower enzymatic antioxidant activity. At the molecular level, the expression of genes involved in defense responses, including ethylene-inducing xylanase (EIX), peroxidase 51 (POX), and phenylalanine ammonia lyase, were significantly upregulated upon exposure to silver. The molecular and physiological data showed exposure to all forms of silver resulted in oxidative stress and exposure to AgNPs induced antioxidative and defense responses. However, exposure to AgNO resulted in phytotoxicity and failure in antioxidative responses. It indicates the higher reactivity and phytotoxicity of the ionic form of silver compared to NPs. The findings of this study add important information to efforts in attempting to characterize the exposure and risk associated with the release of nanomaterials in the environment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15226514.2019.1634000DOI Listing
December 2019

Joint Nanotoxicology Assessment Provides a New Strategy for Developing Nanoenabled Bioremediation Technologies.

Environ Sci Technol 2019 Jul 3;53(14):7927-7929. Epub 2019 Jul 3.

Stockbridge School of Agriculture , University of Massachusetts , Amherst , Massachusetts United States.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.9b03593DOI Listing
July 2019

Antimicrobial activity of cellulosic pads amended with emulsions of essential oils of oregano, thyme and cinnamon against microorganisms in minced beef meat.

Int J Food Microbiol 2019 Sep 11;305:108246. Epub 2019 Jun 11.

Department of Chemistry, Life Sciences and Environmental Sustainability, University of Parma, v.le Parco Area delle Scienze, 43124 Parma, Italy; CINSA, National Interuniversity Consortium for Environmental Science, v.le Parco Area delle Scienze 33, 43124 Parma, Italy; Italbiotec Consortium, via Gaudenzio Fantoli, 16/15, 20138 Milano, Italy.

Cellulosic pads, amended with emulsions containing essential oils of thyme and oregano, exhibited antimicrobial activity against the psychrophilic microbiota of minced beef. In addition, the pads were active against specific meat bacterial species (Pseudomonas putida, Pseudomonas fragi, Pseudomonas fluorescens, Enterococcus faecalis and Lactococcus lactis) and some common foodborne pathogens (Salmonella enterica, Campylobacter jejuni and Staphylococcus aureus). Three emulsions, IT131017, Mediterranean and Etnic, containing different percentages of carvacrol, thymol, linalool, and ɑ and β-pinene, significantly reduced the growth of S. enterica and P. putida. Pads derived from emulsions Mediterranean and Etnic induced slight (0.3-0.8 Log CFUs/g) but reproducible reduction of the psychrophilic microbiota in minced meat and hamburger stored for 12 and 15 days at 4 °C.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2019.108246DOI Listing
September 2019

Nano-enabled strategies to enhance crop nutrition and protection.

Nat Nanotechnol 2019 06 5;14(6):532-540. Epub 2019 Jun 5.

Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology, Department of Analytical Chemistry, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, New Haven, CT, USA.

Various nano-enabled strategies are proposed to improve crop production and meet the growing global demands for food, feed and fuel while practising sustainable agriculture. After providing a brief overview of the challenges faced in the sector of crop nutrition and protection, this Review presents the possible applications of nanotechnology in this area. We also consider performance data from patents and unpublished sources so as to define the scope of what can be realistically achieved. In addition to being an industry with a narrow profit margin, agricultural businesses have inherent constraints that must be carefully considered and that include existing (or future) regulations, as well as public perception and acceptance. Directions are also identified to guide future research and establish objectives that promote the responsible and sustainable development of nanotechnology in the agri-business sector.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41565-019-0439-5DOI Listing
June 2019

Accumulation and spatial distribution of copper and nutrients in willow as affected by soil flooding: A synchrotron-based X-ray fluorescence study.

Environ Pollut 2019 Mar 4;246:980-989. Epub 2019 Jan 4.

Stockbridge School of Agriculture, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, 01003, United States.

Copper (Cu) induced phytotoxicity has become a serious environmental problem as a consequence of significant metal release through anthropogenic activity. Understanding the spatial distribution of Cu in plants such as willow is essential to elucidate the mechanisms of metal accumulation and transport in woody plants, particularly as affected by variable environment conditions such as soil flooding. Using synchrotron-based X-ray fluorescence (μ-XRF) techniques, the spatial distribution of Cu and other nutrient elements were investigated in roots and stems of Salix (S.) integra exposed to 450 mg kg Cu under non-flooded (NF)/flooding (F) conditions for 90 d. S. integra grown in the F condition exhibited significant higher tolerance index (TI, determined by the ratio of total biomass in Cu treatments to control) (p < 0.05) than that in the NF condition, indicating soil flooding alleviated Cu toxicity to willow plants. The μ-XRF revealed that Cu was preferentially located in the root cap and meristematic zone of the root tips. Under the NF condition, the Cu intensity in the root epidermis was more highly concentrated than that of the F condition, suggesting the soil flooding significantly inhibited Cu uptake by S. integra. The pattern of the Cu spatial distribution in the S. integra stem indicated that the F condition severely reduced Cu transport via the xylem vessels as a consequence of decreasing the transpiration rate of leaves. To our knowledge, this is the first study to report the in vivo Cu distribution in S. integra in a scenario of co-exposure to the Cu and the soil flooding over a long period. The finding that Cu uptake varies significantly with flooding condition is relevant to the development of strategies for plants to detoxify the metals and to maintain the nutrient homeostasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2018.12.025DOI Listing
March 2019

Addition-omission of zinc, copper, and boron nano and bulk oxide particles demonstrate element and size -specific response of soybean to micronutrients exposure.

Sci Total Environ 2019 May 11;665:606-616. Epub 2019 Feb 11.

The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, 123 Huntington Street, New Haven, CT 06511, United States.

Plant response to microelements exposure can be modulated based on particle size. However, studies are lacking on the roles of particle size and specific microelements in mixed exposure systems designed for plant nutrition, rather than toxicology. Here, an addition-omission strategy was used to address particle-size and element-specific effects in soybean exposed to a mixture of nano and bulk scale oxide particles of Zn (2 mg Zn/kg), Cu (1 mg Cu/kg) and B (1 mg B/kg) in soil. Compared to the control, mixtures of oxide particles of both sizes significantly (p < 0.05) promoted grain yield and overall (shoot and grain) Zn accumulation, but suppressed overall P accumulation. However, the mixed nano-oxides, but not the mixed bulk-oxides, specifically stimulated shoot growth (47%), flower formation (63%), shoot biomass (34%), and shoot N (53%) and K (42%) accumulation. Compared by particle size, omission of individual elements from the mixtures evoked significant responses that were nano or bulk-specific, including shoot growth promotion (29%) by bulk-B; inhibition (51%) of flower formation by nano-Cu; stimulation (57%) of flower formation by bulk-B; grain yield suppression (40%) by nano-Zn; B uptake enhancement (34%) by bulk-Cu; P uptake stimulation by nano-Zn (14%) or bulk-B (21%); residual soil N (80%) and Zn (42%) enhancement by nano-Cu; and residual soil Cu enhancement by nano-Zn (72%) and nano-B (62%). Zn was responsible for driving the agronomic (biomass and grain yield) responses in this soil, with concurrent ramifications for environmental management (N and P) and human health (Zn nutrition). Overall, compared to bulk microelements, nanoscale microelements played a greater role in evoking plant responses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.02.142DOI Listing
May 2019

Effect of Metalloid and Metal Oxide Nanoparticles on Fusarium Wilt of Watermelon.

Plant Dis 2018 Jul 7;102(7):1394-1401. Epub 2018 May 7.

Department of Analytical Chemistry, The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.

This study explored the use of foliar sprays with nanoparticles (NP) of B, CuO, MnO, SiO, TiO, and ZnO to protect watermelon against Fusarium wilt. Leaves of young watermelon plants were sprayed (1 to 2 ml per plant) with NP suspensions (500 to 1,000 µg/ml) and were planted in potting mix infested with Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. niveum. In five of eight greenhouse experiments, CuO NP suppressed disease and, in six of eight experiments, CuO NP increased biomass or yield more than in untreated controls or other tested NP. More root Cu was detected in CuO NP-treated plants than other treatments (P = 0.015). In Griswold, CT, plants treated with CuO NP yielded 39% more fruit than untreated controls. In Hamden, CT, treatment with CuO NP produced 53% more fruit when compared with controls (P = 0.02) and was superior to other Cu fungicides. Gene expression in watermelon roots revealed strong upregulation of polyphenol oxidase (PPO) and PR1 genes when CuO NP and F. oxysporum f. sp. niveum were both present. Enzymatic assays for PPO supported the gene expression results. CuO NP may serve as a highly effective delivery agent for this micronutrient to suppress disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1094/PDIS-10-17-1621-REDOI Listing
July 2018

C60 Fullerols Enhance Copper Toxicity and Alter the Leaf Metabolite and Protein Profile in Cucumber.

Environ Sci Technol 2019 02 4;53(4):2171-2180. Epub 2019 Feb 4.

State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, School of Environment , Nanjing University , Nanjing 210023 , China.

Abiotic and biotic stress induce the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which limit crop production. Little is known about ROS reduction through the application of exogenous scavengers. In this study, C60 fullerol, a free radical scavenger, was foliar applied to three-week-old cucumber plants (1 or 2 mg/plant) before exposure to copper ions (5 mg/plant). Results showed that C60 fullerols augmented Cu toxicity by increasing the influx of Cu ions into cells (170% and 511%, respectively, for 1 and 2 mg of C60 fullerols/plant). We further use metabolomics and proteomics to investigate the mechanism of plant response to C60 fullerols. Metabolomics revealed that C60 fullerols up-regulated antioxidant metabolites including 3-hydroxyflavone, 1,2,4-benzenetriol, and methyl trans-cinnamate, among others, while it down-regulated cell membrane metabolites (linolenic and palmitoleic acid). Proteomics analysis revealed that C60 fullerols up-regulated chloroplast proteins involved in water photolysis (PSII protein), light-harvesting (CAB), ATP production (ATP synthase), pigment fixation (Mg-PPIX), and electron transport ( Cyt b6f). Chlorophyll fluorescence measurement showed that C60 fullerols significantly accelerated the electron transport rate in leaves (13.3% and 9.4%, respectively, for 1 and 2 mg C60 fullerols/plant). The global view of the metabolic pathway network suggests that C60 fullerols accelerated electron transport rate, which induced ROS overproduction in chloroplast thylakoids. Plant activated antioxidant and defense pathways to protect the cell from ROS damaging. The revealed benefit (enhance electron transport) and risk (alter membrane composition) suggest a cautious use of C60 fullerols for agricultural application.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.8b06758DOI Listing
February 2019

Direct Comparison of Herbicidal or Biological Treatment on Control and Biochemistry.

Front Plant Sci 2018 10;9:1814. Epub 2018 Dec 10.

Department of Analytical Chemistry, The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, New Haven, CT, United States.

or Eurasian watermilfoil (hereafter, milfoil) is among the most problematic invasive aquatic plant species throughout much of North America. infestations can result in reduced diversity and abundance of native plant populations. Control of the invader is essential to promoting healthy ecosystems. Several treatment alternatives are available for milfoil control, although cost and efficacy vary significantly, with some treatments resulting in more harm to the native population than no treatment at all. A series of field-based microcosms containing actively growing milfoil were constructed in order to directly compare the impact of two herbicides (2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid and fluridone) and the milfoil weevil () on weed control and plant biochemistry. Herbicide concentrations in water, plants, and sediments were monitored, as were weevil population dynamics and resulting invertebrate damage to milfoil stems. The impact of the different treatments on levels of polyphenols, carbohydrates, ash, and overall carbon and nitrogen levels in the milfoil were determined. Total biomass of the untreated milfoil increased by more than 2.7-fold during the 53-day experimental period. Conversely, the biomass of milfoil subjected to chemical or biological treatment either remained constant or decreased significantly during the experiment. The herbicide 2,4-D resulted in nearly 100% milfoil mortality by day 20, whereas fluridone toxicity was significantly slower but reached 75% by the end of the trial. Similarly, milfoil growth in the weevil-amended tanks was somewhat erratic but by the end of the trial, the total plant biomass was 71% less than that of un-amended controls. Although the total biomass remaining at the end of the fluridone and weevil treatments was similar, the carbohydrate and starch content of the shoots in the insect treatment were nearly 4.6- and 4.8-fold greater, respectively, than that of the herbicide treated plants. The higher starch content in insect-treated plants could lead to increased autofragmentation and spread of . However, herbicide treatments are frequently required for several years. Therefore, integrated pest management, which combines the long-term benefits of biological controls with the short-term benefits of herbicides may provide the best solution to the control of and the conservation of native plants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2018.01814DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6295576PMC
December 2018

Engineered nanomaterials inhibit Podosphaera pannosa infection on rose leaves by regulating phytohormones.

Environ Res 2019 03 6;170:1-6. Epub 2018 Dec 6.

Stockbridge School of Agriculture, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA 01003, United States.

In the present study, we investigated the antifungal effects of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) against Podosphaera pannosa (P. pannosa), a fungal pathogen that causes powdery mildew on plants in the rose family. Four commercial ENMs, including multi-wall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs), reduced graphene oxide (rGO), copper oxide (CuO) nanoparticles (NPs) and titanium dioxide (TiO) NPs, were used to prepare 50 or 200 mg/L NP suspensions in deionized water. Rose leaves in water-agar plates were sprayed by different ENM suspensions mixed with P. pannosa conidia. After a 19-day standard infection test, the growth of P. pannosa on rose leaves was evaluated. All four ENMs inhibited infection by P. pannosa at the concentration 200 mg/L, whereas only CuO NPs decreased fungal growth at 50 mg/L. The phytohormone content of the leaves was measured across all treatments to investigate potential ENMs antifungal mechanisms. The results suggest that ENMs increased plant resistance to fungal infection by altering the content of endogenous hormones, particularly zeatin riboside (ZR). Our study demonstrates that ENMs exhibited distinctly antifungal effects against P. pannosa on roses, and could be utilized as a novel plant protection strategy after a comprehensive assessment of potential environmental risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2018.12.008DOI Listing
March 2019

Graphene quantum dots in alveolar macrophage: uptake-exocytosis, accumulation in nuclei, nuclear responses and DNA cleavage.

Part Fibre Toxicol 2018 11 13;15(1):45. Epub 2018 Nov 13.

Stockbridge School of Agriculture, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, 01003, USA.

Background: Given the tremendous potential for graphene quantum dots (QDs) in biomedical applications, a thorough understanding of the interaction of these materials with macrophages is essential because macrophages are one of the most important barriers against exogenous particles. Although the cytotoxicity and cellular uptake of graphene QDs were reported in previous studies, the interaction between nuclei and the internalized graphene QDs is not well understood. We thus systematically studied the nuclear uptake and related nuclear response associated with aminated graphene QDs (AG-QDs) exposure.

Results: AG-QDs showed modest 24-h inhibition to rat alveolar macrophages (NR8383), with a minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 200 μg/mL. Early apoptosis was significantly increased by AG-QDs (100 and 200 μg/mL) exposure and played a major role in cell death. The internalization of AG-QDs was mainly via energy-dependent endocytosis, phagocytosis and caveolae-mediated endocytosis. After a 48-h clearance period, more than half of the internalized AG-QDs remained in the cellular cytoplasm and nucleus. Moreover, AG-QDs were effectively accumulated in nucleus and were likely regulated by two nuclear pore complexes genes (Kapβ2 and Nup98). AG-QDs were shown to alter the morphology, area, viability and nuclear components of exposed cells. Significant cleavage and cross-linking of DNA chains after AG-QDs exposure were confirmed by atomic force microscopy investigation. Molecular docking simulations showed that H-bonding and π-π stacking were the dominant forces mediating the interactions between AG-QDs and DNA, and were the important mechanisms resulting in DNA chain cleavage. In addition, the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) (e.g., •OH), and the up-regulation of caspase genes also contributed to DNA cleavage.

Conclusions: AG-QDs were internalized by macrophages and accumulated in nuclei, which further resulted in nuclear damage and DNA cleavage. It is demonstrated that oxidative damage, direct contact via H-bonding and π-π stacking, and the up-regulation of caspase genes are the primary mechanisms for the observed DNA cleavage by AG-QDs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12989-018-0279-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6234698PMC
November 2018

Effects of biochar on 2, 2', 4, 4', 5, 5'-hexabrominated diphenyl ether (BDE-153) fate in Amaranthus mangostanus L.: Accumulation, metabolite formation, and physiological response.

Sci Total Environ 2019 Feb 19;651(Pt 1):1154-1165. Epub 2018 Sep 19.

Stockbridge School of Agriculture, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003, United States.

The accumulation and metabolism of 2, 2', 4, 4', 5, 5'-hexabrominated diphenyl ether (BDE-153) in Amaranthus mangostanus L. (amaranth) as affected by different concentrations of biochar (1.3 to 26.6 g/L) under hydroponic conditions exposed to 10 μg/L BDE-153 after 10 days were investigated. Biochar significantly reduced BDE-153 shoot and root content by 27.5-61.6% and 73-95.3%, respectively. In general, BDE-153 migration from solution to amaranth decreased with increasing the doses of biochar. BDE-153 metabolites altered with doses of biochar. The ratio of de-BDEs to BDE-153 in root was polynomial correlated to biochar dose (R = 0.9356**). Root and shoot Fe content was positively correlated with the BDE-153 amounts (R = 0.948** and 0.822*, respectively). Though the higher biochar dose could obviously control BDE-153 uptake by the vegetable, the toxicity was caused more significantly. For instances, the high concentration of biochar at 26.6 g/L reduced pigment content, increased total ROS, and elevated antioxidant enzyme activity. At the same time, the O intensity was linearly positively correlated with de-BDEs in root (R = 0.7324*) while photosynthetic parameter F/fm intensity was polynomial correlated to BDEs in shoot (R = 0.9366*). Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) confirmed that exposure to BDE-153 and high concentration biochar at 26.6 g/L severely altered the chloroplasts in terms of the organelle shape and the presence of starch granules in the chloroplast. Taken together, biochar as a soil amendment could significantly control BDE-153 uptake and enhance BDE-153 metabolism in vegetables, but considering the dose of biochar to avoid its toxicity with higher dose.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.09.229DOI Listing
February 2019

Exposure to Weathered and Fresh Nanoparticle and Ionic Zn in Soil Promotes Grain Yield and Modulates Nutrient Acquisition in Wheat ( Triticum aestivum L.).

J Agric Food Chem 2018 Sep 10;66(37):9645-9656. Epub 2018 Sep 10.

The Center for Nanotechnology and Agricultural Pathogen Suppression (CeNAPS) , New Haven , Connecticut 06511 , United States.

This study evaluated weathered and fresh ZnO-nanoparticles and Zn-salt effects on nutrient acquisition and redistribution in wheat. Weathered and fresh ZnO-nanoparticles and Zn-salt significantly increased grain yield by 15% and 29%, respectively. Postharvest soil acidification indicated ZnO-nanoparticles dissolved during growth. Zn was significantly bioaccumulated from both Zn types, but with low root-to-shoot bioaccumulation efficiency: 24% and 20% for weathered nanoparticles and salt, and 48% and 30% for fresh nanoparticles and salt. Grain Zn content was increased 186% and 229% by weathered nanoparticles and salt, and 229% and 300% by fresh nanoparticles and salt. Shoot-to-grain translocation efficiency was high: 167% and 177% for weathered nanoparticles and salt, and 209% and 155% for fresh nanoparticles and salt. However, Zincon assay indicated grain Zn does not exist as ions. This study demonstrates that ZnO-nanoparticles and Zn-salt vary in their effects on nutrient acquisition in wheat, with relevance for biofortification of Zn for human nutrition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jafc.8b03840DOI Listing
September 2018

The Future of Nanotechnology in Plant Pathology.

Annu Rev Phytopathol 2018 08;56:111-133

Department of Analytical Chemistry, The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, New Haven, Connecticut 06504, USA.

Engineered nanoparticles are materials between 1 and 100 nm and exist as metalloids, metallic oxides, nonmetals, and carbon nanomaterials and as functionalized dendrimers, liposomes, and quantum dots. Their small size, large surface area, and high reactivity have enabled their use as bactericides/ fungicides and nanofertilizers. Nanoparticles can be designed as biosensors for plant disease diagnostics and as delivery vehicles for genetic material, probes, and agrichemicals. In the past decade, reports of nanotechnology in phytopathology have grown exponentially. Nanomaterials have been integrated into disease management strategies and diagnostics and as molecular tools. Most reports summarized herein are directed toward pathogen inhibition using metalloid/metallic oxide nanoparticles as bactericides/fungicides and as nanofertilizers to enhance health. The use of nanoparticles as biosensors in plant disease diagnostics is also reviewed. As global demand for food production escalates against a changing climate, nanotechnology could sustainably mitigate many challenges in disease management by reducing chemical inputs and promoting rapid detection of pathogens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev-phyto-080417-050108DOI Listing
August 2018

Achieving food security through the very small.

Nat Nanotechnol 2018 08;13(8):627-629

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Nanosystems Engineering Research Center for Nanotechnology-Enabled Water Treatment, UC Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41565-018-0223-yDOI Listing
August 2018

Metabolomics Reveals How Cucumber ( Cucumis sativus) Reprograms Metabolites To Cope with Silver Ions and Silver Nanoparticle-Induced Oxidative Stress.

Environ Sci Technol 2018 07 28;52(14):8016-8026. Epub 2018 Jun 28.

State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, School of Environment , Nanjing University , Nanjing 210023 , China.

Due to their well-known antifungal activity, the intentional use of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) as sustainable nanofungicides is expected to increase in agriculture. However, the impacts of AgNPs on plants must be critically evaluated to guarantee their safe use in food production. In this study, 4-week-old cucumber ( Cucumis sativus) plants received a foliar application of AgNPs (4 or 40 mg/plant) or Ag (0.04 or 0.4 mg/plant) for 7 days. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS)=based nontarget metabolomics enabled the identification and quantification of 268 metabolites in cucumber leaves. Multivariate analysis revealed that all the treatments significantly altered the metabolite profile. Exposure to AgNPs resulted in metabolic reprogramming, including activation of antioxidant defense systems (upregulation of phenolic compounds) and downregulation of photosynthesis (upregulation of phytol). Additionally, AgNPs enhanced respiration (upregulation of tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediates), inhibited photorespiration (downregulation of glycine/serine ratio), altered membrane properties (upregulation of pentadecanoic and arachidonic acids, downregulation of linoleic and linolenic acids), and reduced inorganic nitrogen fixation (downregulation of glutamine and asparagine). Although Ag ions induced some of the same metabolic changes, alterations in the levels of carbazole, lactulose, raffinose, citraconic acid, lactamide, acetanilide, and p-benzoquinone were AgNP-specific. The results of this study offer new insight into the molecular mechanisms by which cucumber responds to AgNP exposure and provide important information to support the sustainable use of AgNPs in agriculture.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.8b02440DOI Listing
July 2018

Role of Cerium Compounds in Fusarium Wilt Suppression and Growth Enhancement in Tomato ( Solanum lycopersicum).

J Agric Food Chem 2018 Jun 12;66(24):5959-5970. Epub 2018 Jun 12.

Environmental Science and Engineering PhD Program , The University of Texas at El Paso , 500 West University Avenue , El Paso , Texas 79968 , United States.

The use of nanoparticles in plant protection may reduce pesticide usage and contamination and increase food security. In this study, three-week-old Solanum lycopersicum seedlings were exposed, by root or foliar pathways, to CeO nanoparticles and cerium acetate at 50 and 250 mg/L prior to transplant into sterilized soil. One week later, the soil was inoculated with the fungal pathogen Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici (1 g/kg), and the plants were cultivated to maturity in a greenhouse. Disease severity, biomass/yield, and biochemical and physiological parameters were analyzed in harvested plants. Disease severity was significantly reduced by 250 mg/L of nano-CeO and CeAc applied to the soil (53% and 35%, respectively) or foliage (57% and 41%, respectively), compared with non-treated infested controls. Overall, the findings show that nano-CeO has potential to suppress Fusarium wilt and improve the chlorophyll content in tomato plants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jafc.8b01345DOI Listing
June 2018

Uptake of Engineered Nanoparticles by Food Crops: Characterization, Mechanisms, and Implications.

Annu Rev Food Sci Technol 2018 03 12;9:129-153. Epub 2018 Jan 12.

Stockbridge School of Agriculture, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts 01003, USA; email:

With the rapidly increasing demand for and use of engineered nanoparticles (NPs) in agriculture and related sectors, concerns over the risks to agricultural systems and to crop safety have been the focus of a number of investigations. Significant evidence exists for NP accumulation in soils, including potential particle transformation in the rhizosphere and within terrestrial plants, resulting in subsequent uptake by plants that can yield physiological deficits and molecular alterations that directly undermine crop quality and food safety. In this review, we document in vitro and in vivo characterization of NPs in both growth media and biological matrices; discuss NP uptake patterns, biotransformation, and the underlying mechanisms of nanotoxicity; and summarize the environmental implications of the presence of NPs in agricultural ecosystems. A clear understanding of nano-impacts, including the advantages and disadvantages, on crop plants will help to optimize the safe and sustainable application of nanotechnology in agriculture for the purposes of enhanced yield production, disease suppression, and food quality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev-food-030117-012657DOI Listing
March 2018

Soil mixture composition alters Arabidopsis susceptibility to infection.

Plant Direct 2018 Feb 19;2(2):e00044. Epub 2018 Feb 19.

Department of Plant and Microbial Biology University of California Berkeley Berkeley CA USA.

is a gram-negative bacterial pathogen that causes disease on more than 100 different plant species, including the model plant . Dissection of the - pathosystem has identified many factors that contribute to successful infection or immunity, including the genetics of the host, the genetics of the pathogen, and the environment. Environmental factors that contribute to a successful interaction can include temperature, light, and the circadian clock, as well as the soil environment. As silicon-amended Resilience soil is advertised to enhance plant health, we sought to examine the extent to which this soil might affect the behavior of the - model pathosystem and to characterize the mechanisms through which these effects may occur. We found that plants grown in Si-amended Resilience soil displayed enhanced resistance to bacteria compared to plants grown in non-Si-amended Sunshine soil, and salicylic acid biosynthesis and signaling were not required for resistance. Although silicon has been shown to contribute to broad-spectrum resistance, our data indicate that silicon is not the direct cause of enhanced resistance and that the Si-amended Resilience soil has additional properties that modulate plant resistance. Our work demonstrates the importance of environmental factors, such as soil in modulating interactions between the plant and foliar pathogens, and highlights the significance of careful annotation of the environmental conditions under which plant-pathogen interactions are studied.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pld3.44DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6508533PMC
February 2018

Impact of Nanoparticle Surface Properties on the Attachment of Cerium Oxide Nanoparticles to Sand and Kaolin.

J Environ Qual 2018 Jan;47(1):129-138

Soil texture has been found to be a critical factor in regulating the fate and transport of cerium oxide nanoparticles (CeONPs) in the terrestrial environment. However, the underlying mechanisms for the interactions between CeONPs and different components of soil are still poorly understood. The attachment of CeONPs onto two typical components of soil (sand and kaolin) in batch experiments were investigated to provide insights into the retention and bioavailability of CeONPs in soil. Surface properties of CeONPs, including surface charge and surface coating condition, had strong impacts on the interactions between CeONPs and soil particles. Positively charged CeONPs [CeONPs(+)] displayed the greatest attachment onto kaolin, whereas the negatively charged CeONPs [CeONPs(-)] showed poorest attachment onto sand. The attachment of CeONPs onto kaolin was significantly greater than onto sand, irrespective of surface charge. Homoaggregation of CeONPs increased the size of CeONPs on the surface of sand and kaolin. Extended Derjaguin-Landau-Verwey-Overbeek (XDLVO) calculations agreed with the experimental observations that surface charge and coating condition of CeONPs played a vital role in the homoaggregation and adsorption of CeONPs. For CeONPs(-) coated with polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP), the steric repulsion between soil particles and CeONPs increases rapidly with the increase of maximum surface concentration of PVP. Adsorption isothermal fittings indicated that the adsorption of CeONPs onto sand and kaolin can be properly described by the Dubinin-Radushkevich isotherm. The results obtained in this study are crucial for the understanding of the fate and transport of engineered nanomaterials in the environment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2134/jeq2017.07.0284DOI Listing
January 2018

Plant Response to Metal-Containing Engineered Nanomaterials: An Omics-Based Perspective.

Environ Sci Technol 2018 03 13;52(5):2451-2467. Epub 2018 Feb 13.

Interdepartmental Centre for Food Safety, Technologies and Innovation for Agri-food (SITEIA.PARMA) , Parma 43124 , Italy.

The increasing use of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) raises questions regarding their environmental impact. Improving the level of understanding of the genetic and molecular basis of the response to ENM exposure in biota is necessary to accurately assess the true risk to sensitive receptors. The aim of this Review is to compare the plant response to several metal-based ENMs widely used, such as quantum dots, metal oxides, and silver nanoparticles (NPs), integrating available "omics" data (transcriptomics, miRNAs, and proteomics). Although there is evidence that ENMs can release their metal components into the environment, the mechanistic basis of both ENM toxicity and tolerance is often distinct from that of metal ions and bulk materials. We show that the mechanisms of plant defense against ENM stress include the modification of root architecture, involvement of specific phytohormone signaling pathways, and activation of antioxidant mechanisms. A critical meta-analysis allowed us to identify relevant genes, miRNAs, and proteins involved in the response to ENMs and will further allow a mechanistic understanding of plant-ENM interactions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.7b04121DOI Listing
March 2018

"13th International Phytotechnologies Conference" Hangzhou, China September 26-29, 2016.

Int J Phytoremediation 2018 ;20(12):1169-1170

c Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station , New Haven , CT , USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15226514.2018.1454392DOI Listing
January 2018

Bioaccumulation of CeO Nanoparticles by Earthworms in Biochar-Amended Soil: A Synchrotron Microspectroscopy Study.

J Agric Food Chem 2018 Jul 11;66(26):6609-6618. Epub 2018 Jan 11.

Department of Chemistry, Environmental Science and Engineering Ph.D. Program, University of California Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology (UCCEIN) , The University of Texas at El Paso , El Paso , Texas 79968 , United States.

The interactions of nanoparticles (NPs) with biochar and soil components may substantially influence NP availability and toxicity to biota. In the present study, earthworms ( Eisenia fetida) were exposed for 28 days to a residential or agricultural soil amended with 0-2000 mg of CeO NP/kg and with biochar (produced by the pyrolysis of pecan shells at 350 and 600 °C) at various application rates [0-5% (w/w)]. After 28 days, earthworms were depurated and analyzed for Ce content, moisture content, and lipid peroxidation. The results showed minimal toxicity to the worms; however, biochar (350 or 600 °C) was the dominant factor, accounting for 94 and 84% of the variance for the moisture content and lipid peroxidation, respectively, in the exposed earthworms. For both soils with 1000 mg of CeO/kg at 600 °C, biochar significantly decreased the accumulation of Ce in the worm tissues. Amendment with 350 °C biochar had mixed responses on Ce uptake. Analysis by micro X-ray fluorescence (μ-XRF) and micro X-ray absorption near edge structure (μ-XANES) was used to evaluate Ce localization, speciation, and persistence in CeO- and biochar-exposed earthworms after depuration for 12, 48, and 72 h. Earthworms from the 500 mg of CeO/kg and 0% biochar treatments eliminated most Ce after a 48 h depuration period. However, in the same treatment and with 5% BC-600 (biochar pyrolysis temperature of 600 °C), ingested biochar fragments (∼50 μm) with Ce adsorbed to the surfaces were retained in the gut after 72 h. Additionally, Ce remained in earthworms from the 2000 mg of CeO/kg and 5% biochar treatments after depuration for 48 h. Analysis by μ-XANES showed that, within the earthworm tissues, Ce remained predominantly as CeO, with only few regions (2-3 μm) where it was found in the reduced form (Ce). The present findings highlight that soil and biochar properties have a significant influence in the internalization of CeO NPs in earthworms; such interactions need to be considered when estimating NP fate and effects in the environment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jafc.7b04612DOI Listing
July 2018

Nylon Bristles and Elastomers Retain Centigram Levels of Triclosan and Other Chemicals from Toothpastes: Accumulation and Uncontrolled Release.

Environ Sci Technol 2017 Nov 25;51(21):12264-12273. Epub 2017 Oct 25.

Paige Laboratory, Stockbridge School of Agriculture, University of Massachusetts , Amherst, Massachusetts 01003, United States.

Triclosan (TCS), a broad-spectrum antimicrobial, is used in commercial toothpastes with reported dental benefits. Our studies on 22 popular manual toothbrushes in the U.S. showed that common toothbrush head components can accumulate substantial amounts of TCS after brushing with TCS-formulated toothpastes (TCS-TPs). After simulated 3-month brushing with a commercial best-selling TCS-TP, over one third of the adults' toothbrushes showed a cumulative TCS uptake of 21-37.5 mg, equivalent to 7-12.5 doses of the TCS used per brushing. Similar results were observed on children's toothbrushes with small pea-size heads. Elastomer components were found to be the main contributor while both nylon bristles and elastomers could act as absorptive sinks for TCS during brushing. Studies on six different TCS-TPs containing 0.3 wt% TCS showed similar profiles of TCS accumulation. The absorbed TCS was gradually released into toothpaste slurries after switching to TCS-free alternatives. Release of TCS, which typically measured at a fraction (<75%) of the standard dose using the TCS-TPs, continued for over 2 weeks and occurred most rapidly in peroxide-containing "whitening" toothpastes, followed by alkaline and surfactant-rich toothpastes. The accumulating effect was not exclusive to TCS but was commonly observed on several chemicals identified in TCS-TPs and a range of regular toothpastes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.7b02839DOI Listing
November 2017
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