Three typical microplastics affect the germination and growth of amaranth (Amaranthus mangostanus L.) seedlings

Elsevier, Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, Volume 194, January 2023, Pages 589-599
Wang J., Li J., Liu W., Zeb A., Wang Q., Zheng Z. et al.

Microplastics (MPs) have been a global emerging contaminant and have aroused wide public concern. Currently, it is still unknown the phytotoxicity effect of MPs on amaranth (Amaranthus mangostanus L.). This study investigated the early responses of amaranth by exposing its seeds to suspensions of polystyrene (PS), polyethylene (PE), and polypropylene (PP) MPs. We observed the effects of MPs on seed germination and growth of amaranth, especially on the oxidative damage in amaranth roots. Impacts of MPs on the germination and growth of amaranth varied with the type, concentration, and particle size of MPs. PE MPs and PP MPs inhibited the shoot extension of amaranth, while the root length under PP MPs treatment was generally shorter than that under PS MPs and PE MPs. The accumulation of H2O2 in amaranth roots increased with the rising of MPs concentration. Compared with the control, a little number of dead cells were found in the roots of amaranth under high MPs treatment. It is noteworthy that only under 100 mg/L PP treatment, the amaranthus seedlings root cells were disorganized, due to the reactive oxygen species (ROS) damage in the roots. These findings provide essential information to assess the phytotoxicity of MPs in agricultural products, and provide insights into the underlying mechanisms of the observed phytotoxicity.