Skip to main content Accessibility help

Translocation of N-acetyl Cysteine Capped Fluorescent Quantum Dots in Plant Tissue: Confocal Imaging Studies

  • Smruti Das (a1), Jeremy Tharkur (a1) (a2), Laurene Tetard (a1) (a3) and Swadeshmukul Santra (a1) (a2) (a4) (a5)


Semiconductor fluorescent quantum dots (Qdots) are popularly used as bioimaging taggants in live cell imaging and spectroscopy. In recent years, Qdots taggants are emerging in agricultural applications. Studies are primarily focused on nanotoxicity of ultra-small size water-soluble Qdots in plant systems. Nanotoxicity is correlated with Qdot core composition and surface coating. However, Qdots with certain chemical composition and surface coating may boost plant growth. In this study, we report that N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) capped ∼3.5 nm size ZnS:Mn/ZnS Qdots (NAC-Qdot) are efficiently uptaken by the snow pea (Pisum sativum L., a model plant) vascular system, enhancing the root growth at a dose level of 80 μg/mL. Fluorescence microscopy studies confirmed localization of NAC-Qdots in the intercellular regions. Germination and growth of the snow pea seeds were found to be strongly dependent on Qdot dosage and incubation time with Qdots. Seed germination reached 100% within 48 hours of NAC-Qdot exposure. Based on our preliminary findings, it is suggested that NAC-Qdot can be used as systemic plant nutrient material for boosting the seed germination and plant growth.


Corresponding author

*Corresponding Author:


Hide All
1. Berg, J. M. and Shi, Y. G., Science 271 (5252), 10811085 (1996).
2. Frassinetti, S., Bronzetti, G., Caltavuturo, L., Cini, M. and Della Croce, C., Journal of Environmental Pathology Toxicology and Oncology 25(3), 597610 (2006).
3. Clarkson, D. T. and Hanson, J. B., Annual Review of Plant Physiology and Plant Molecular Biology 31, 239298 (1980).
4. Ren, H. B., Wu, B. Y., Chen, J. T. and Yan, X. P., Analytical Chemistry 83(21), 82398244 (2011).
5. Bryan, J. D. and Gamelin, D. R., in Progress in Inorganic Chemistry, Vol 54, edited by Karlin, K. D. (2005), Vol. 54, pp. 47126.
6. Chen, N., He, Y., Su, Y. Y., Li, X. M., Huang, Q., Wang, H. F., Zhang, X. Z., Tai, R. Z. and Fan, C. H., Biomaterials 33(5), 12381244 (2012).
7. Cirillo, M., Aubert, T., Gomes, R., Van Deun, R., Emplit, P., Biermann, A., Lange, H., Thomsen, C., Brainis, E. and Hens, Z., Chemistry of Materials 26(2), 11541160 (2014).
8. Li, H., Li, M. Y., Shih, W. Y., Lelkes, P. I. and Shih, W. H., Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology 11(4), 35433551 (2011).
9. Bera, D., Qian, L., Tseng, T. K. and Holloway, P. H., Materials 3(4), 22602345 (2010).
10. Verma, S., Kaniyankandy, S. and Ghosh, H. N., Journal of Physical Chemistry C 117(21), 1090110908 (2013).
11. Beltran-Huarac, J., Guinel, M. J. F., Weiner, B. R. and Morell, G., Materials Letters 98, 108111 (2013).
12. Circu, M. L. and Aw, T. Y., Free Radical Research 42(8), 689706 (2008).
13. Presnell, C. E., Bhatti, G., Numan, L. S., Lerche, M., Alkhateeb, S. K., Ghalib, M., Shammaa, M. and Kavdia, M., Current Neurovascular Research 10(2), 185194 (2013).
14. Flora, S. D., Izzotti, A., Agostini, F. D. and Balansky, R. M., Carcinogesis 22(7), 9991013 (2001).
15. Santra, S., Yang, H., Stanley, J. T., Holloway, P. H., Moudgil, B. M., Walter, G. and Mericle, R. A., Chemical Communications (25), 31443146 (2005).
16. Santra, S., Yang, H. S., Holloway, P. H., Stanley, J. T. and Mericle, R. A., Journal of the American Chemical Society 127(6), 16561657 (2005).
17. Liu, F., Zhang, Y., Chu, C. C., Lu, J. J., Yu, J. H. and Song, X. R., Monatshefte Fur Chemie 145(1), 121127 (2014).
18. Zhao, D., He, Z. K., Chan, W. H. and Choi, M. M. F., J. Phys. Chem. C 113(4), 12931300 (2009).
19. Zhang, B. H., Qi, L. and Wu, F. Y., Microchimica Acta 170 (1-2), 147153 (2010).
20. Ma, Y. H., Kuang, L. L., He, X., Bai, W., Ding, Y. Y., Zhang, Z. Y., Zhao, Y. L. and Chai, Z. F., Chemosphere 78(3), 273279 (2010).


Translocation of N-acetyl Cysteine Capped Fluorescent Quantum Dots in Plant Tissue: Confocal Imaging Studies

  • Smruti Das (a1), Jeremy Tharkur (a1) (a2), Laurene Tetard (a1) (a3) and Swadeshmukul Santra (a1) (a2) (a4) (a5)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed