JOURNAL OF HAZARDOUS MATERIALS, vol.390, 2020 (SCI-Expanded)
Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are used in a wide range of consumer products inevitably releases in massive quantities in the natural environment, posing a potential thread to ecosystem-safety and plant health. Here, the impact of AgNPs (100-1000 mg L-1) without and with biochar (@2 % w/v) amendment on maize plants was assessed in hydroponics exposure medium. AgNPs exposure to plants induced dose-dependent phytotoxicity by suppressing plant growth, disturbing photosynthesis and gas exchange traits and alteration in macro- and micronutrients assimilation. At the same time, AgNPs with addition of biochar alleviated the phyto-toxic effects of AgNPs through approximately 4-8 times reduction in uptake and tissue accumulation of Ag. Moreover, activities of antioxidant enzymes in AgNPs+ biochar treated plants indicated the lower oxidative stress. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy confirmed that superoxide (O-2(center dot-)) radical was the dominant reactive oxygen species. Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopic (FTIR) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopic (XPS) results revealed that biochar surface carboxyl and sulfur functional groups were involved in complexation process with NPs, which inhibited the oxidative dissolution and release of Ag+ ions besides of biochar space shield effect. Thus, the interaction of biochar with AgNPs immobilizes these NPs and can effectively reduce their bioavailability in the environmental matrix.