Discipline: Ecology Environmental and Earth Sciences
Subcategory: Plant Research
Room: Private Dining
Maximo Reyes - Missouri State University
Co-Author(s): Preston Clubb, Missouri State University; Cyren Rico, Missouri State University; Elim Horn, Willard High School
The continuous exposure of plants to emerging contaminants is possible to occur in the real environment. This study was conducted under the hypothesis that subtle changes during parental exposure to contaminant will have carry-over effects to the daughter plants. To test this hypothesis, seeds from wheat plants previously exposed to cerium oxide nanoparticles (500 mg/kg CeO2-NPs) were planted in soil amended with perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (50 mg/kg PFOS) for 21 days (short-term exposure) or 90 days (long-term exposure). Plant responses were assessed by measuring plant biometrics (height, biomass yield), stress indicators (chlorophyll content, enzyme activity, and membrane damage), elemental uptake, and grain metabolomics. Results showed that previous exposure to CeO2-NPs improved chlorophyll content but reduced concentrations of important macro- and micro-elements in the grains, shoots and roots of daughter plants exposed to PFOS. Metabolomics revealed that previous exposure to CeO2-NPs decreased abundances of major metabolites in amino acid synthesis, nitrogen metabolism, and phenylalanine, tyrosine and tryptophan biosynthesis. For example, arachidic acid and glutamic acid decreased in grains previously exposed to CeO2-NPs suggesting that antioxidant capacity of plants decreased. Our findings indicate that parental exposure to CeO2-NPs could have carry over effects that could manifest and impact biochemical processes of the succeeding generations. Future studies would involve epigenetic studies to better understand the subtle alterations in plants that could have long-term effects in the environment. References: C. Rico et al., Metabolomics of wheat grains generationally exposed to cerium oxide nanoparticles, Science of Total Environment, 2020, 712, 136487. Ofoegbu et al., Impacts of perfluorooctanesulfonic acid on plant biometrics and grain metabolomics of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), Journal of Hazardous Materials Advances, 2022, 7, 100131.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): The Missouri LSAMP Program for the opportunity and funding. The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the MSU Summer Faculty Fellowship Grant of Dr. Cyren Rico for funding.
Faculty Advisor: Cyren Rico, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: Throughout the duration of this Project, I worked alongside a senior member of our lab in conducting the various assays required to understand the effects of our contaminants on plants. This included preparing samples to be analyzed in the assays, operating various pieces of instrumentation, and analyzing the data that was collected in the process.