Increase in the active ingredients of traditional Chinese medicine Isatis indigotica through iron nanoparticles supplementation versus carbon nanotubes: a comparative study

Pingfan Zhou, Binbin Long, Ruisi Wang, Yaqi Jiang, Weichen Zhao, Yuanbo Li, Mingshu Li, Zhiling Guo, Peng Zhang*, Yukui Rui*, Iseult Lynch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

The low yield and active ingredient content of medicinal plants is always a challenge. However, nanotechnology offers new tools for enhancing the biomass and metabolism of medicinal plants. In the present study, the effects of two nanomaterials (NMs) on the growth, photosynthesis, antioxidant system, mineral homeostasis, C/N accumulation, and content of active ingredients of Isatis indigotica (BLG) were investigated. BLG was grown in soil supplemented with 10-250 mg kg−1 of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) or iron oxide nanoparticles (Fe2O3 NPs) for 60 days in a greenhouse. The results showed that a low concentration (10 mg kg−1) of Fe2O 3 NPs promoted the growth of BLG, while the opposite trend was observed in the CNT treatment. Fe2O3 NPs at 10 mg kg−1 effectively increased the shoot length and biomass by 21% and 14%, respectively. Notably, the Fe2O3 NPs could also effectively enhance the officinal ingredient content of BLG by regulating the antioxidant system, mineral element homeostasis, and carbon and nitrogen synthesis. Fe2O3 NPs at 10 mg kg−1 increased the flavonoids, soluble sugars, and total protein content of BLG roots by 55%, 124%, and 59%, respectively. In conclusion, our results suggest that the Fe2O3 NPs can be used as a bio-fortifier to enhance the yield and officinal quality of BLG.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2966–2978
Number of pages13
JournalEnvironmental Science: Nano
Volume9
Issue number8
Early online date4 Jul 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The project was supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (2017YFD0801300, 2017YFD0801103). Additional support from EU H2020 project NanoSolveIT (Grant Agreement 814572), NanoCommons (Grant Agreement 731032) and The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Impact Acceleration Accounts Developing Leaders (Grant No. 1001634) was acknowledged.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Royal Society of Chemistry

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