JoVE Logo
Faculty Resource Center

Sign In





Representative Results






Catalytic Scavenging of Plant Reactive Oxygen Species In Vivo by Anionic Cerium Oxide Nanoparticles

Published: August 26th, 2018



1Department of Botany and Plant Sciences, University of California, 2Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology, University of California
* These authors contributed equally

Here, we present a protocol for the synthesis and characterization of cerium oxide nanoparticles (nanoceria) for ROS (reactive oxygen species) scavenging in vivo, nanoceria imaging in plant tissues by confocal microscopy, and in vivo monitoring of nanoceria ROS scavenging by confocal microscopy.

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation is a hallmark of plant abiotic stress response. ROS play a dual role in plants by acting as signaling molecules at low levels and damaging molecules at high levels. Accumulation of ROS in stressed plants can damage metabolites, enzymes, lipids, and DNA, causing a reduction of plant growth and yield. The ability of cerium oxide nanoparticles (nanoceria) to catalytically scavenge ROS in vivo provides a unique tool to understand and bioengineer plant abiotic stress tolerance. Here, we present a protocol to synthesize and characterize poly (acrylic) acid coated nanoceria (PNC), interface the nanoparticles with plants via leaf lamina infiltration, and monitor their distribution and ROS scavenging in vivo using confocal microscopy. Current molecular tools for manipulating ROS accumulation in plants are limited to model species and require laborious transformation methods. This protocol for in vivo ROS scavenging has the potential to be applied to wild type plants with broad leaves and leaf structure like Arabidopsis thaliana.

Cerium oxide nanoparticles (nanoceria) are widely used in living organisms, from basic research to bioengineering, due to their distinct catalytic reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenging ability1,2,3. Nanoceria have ROS scavenging abilities due to a large number of surface oxygen vacancies that alternate between two oxidation states (Ce3+ and Ce4+) 4,5,6. The Ce3+ dangling bonds effectively scavenge ROS while the lattice strains at the nanoscale prom....

Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

1. Growing A. thaliana Plants

  1. Sow A. thaliana seeds in 5 cm x 5 cm disposable pots filled with standard soil mix. Put 32 of these pots into a plastic tray filled with water (~ 0.5 cm depth) and transfer the plastic tray with the plants into a plant growth chamber.
    1. Set the growth chamber settings as follows: 200 µmol/ms photosynthetic active radiation (PAR), 24 ± 1 °C day and 21 ± 1 °C night, 60% humidity, and 14/10 h day/night light regime, respectively.<.......

Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

PNC synthesis and characterization.
PNC were synthesized, purified and characterized following the method described in Protocol Section 2. Figure 1A shows the coloration of the solutions of cerium nitrate, PAA, the mixture of cerium nitrate and PAA, and PNC. A color change from white to light yellow is seen after PNC is synthesized. After purification with a 10 kDa filter, PNC were characterize.......

Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

In this protocol, we describe PNC synthesis, characterization, fluorescent dye labeling, and confocal imaging of the nanoparticles within plant mesophyll cells to exhibit their in vivo ROS scavenging activity. PNC are synthesized from a mixture of cerium nitrate and PAA solution in ammonium hydroxide. PNC are characterized by absorption spectrophotomery and the concentration determined using Beer-Lamberts law. Zeta potential measurements confirmed the negatively charged surface of PNC for enhancing delivery to c.......

Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

This work was supported by the University of California, Riverside and USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Hatch project 1009710 to J.P.G. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1817363 to J.P.G.


Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

Name Company Catalog Number Comments
Cerium (III) nitrate hexahydrate Sigma-Aldrich 238538-100G
Molecular Biology Grade Water, Corning VWR 45001-044 
Falcon 50 mL Conical Centrifuge Tubes VWR 14-959-49A
Poly (acrylic acid) 1,800 Mw Sigma-Aldrich 323667-100G
Fisherbrand Digital Vortex Mixer Fisher Scientific 02-215-370
Fisherbrand Digital Vortex Mixer Accessory, Insert Retainer Fisher Scientific 02-215-391
Fisherbrand Digital Vortex Mixer Accessories: Foam Insert Set Fisher Scientific 02-215-395
Ammonium hydroxide solution Sigma-Aldrich 05002-1L
PYREX Griffin Beakers, Graduated, Corning VWR 13912-149 
RCT basic IKA 3810001
Eppendorf Microcentrifuge 5424 VWR 80094-126
Amicon Ultra-15 Centrifugal Filter Units Millipore-Sigma UFC901024
Allegra X-30 Series Benchtop Centrifuge Beckman Coulter B06314
UV-2600 Sptecrophotometer Shimadzu UV-2600 120V
Whatman Anotop 10 syringe filter Sigma-Aldrich WHA68091102
BD Disposable Syringes with Luer-Lok Tips Fisher Scientific 14-829-45
Zetasizer Nano S Malvern Panalytical Zen 1600
1,1′-Dioctadecyl-3,3,3′,3′-tetramethylindocarbocyanine perchlorate Sigma-Aldrich 42364-100MG
Dimethyl Sulfoxide, ACS VWR BDH1115-1LP
Sunshine Mix #1 LC1 Green Island Distributors, Inc 5212601.CFL080P
Adaptis 1000 Conviron A1000
TES, >99% (titration Sigma-Aldrich T1375-100G
Magnesium chloride Sigma-Aldrich M8266-1KG
Air-Tite All-Plastic Norm-Ject Syringe Fisher Scientific 14-817-25
Kimberly-Clark Professional Kimtech Science Kimwipes Delicate Task Wipers Fisher Scientific 06-666A
Carolina Observation Gel Carolina 132700
Corning microscope slides, frosted one side, one end Sigma-Aldrich CLS294875X25-72EA
Cork Borer Sets with Handles Fisher Scientific S50166A
Perfluorodecalin Sigma-Aldrich P9900-25G
Micro Cover Glasses, Square, No. 1 VWR 48366-045
Leica Laser Scanning Confocal Microscope TCS SP5 Leica Microsystems TCS SP5
2′,7′-Dichlorofluorescin diacetate Sigma-Aldrich D6883-250MG
Dihydroethidium Sigma-Aldrich D7008-10MG
Fisherbrand Premium Microcentrifuge Tubes: 1.5 mL Fisher Scientific 05-408-129
Eppendorf Uvette cuvettes Sigma-Aldrich Z605050-80EA
Chlorophyll meter  Konica Minolta SPAD-502

  1. Xu, C., Qu, X. Cerium oxide nanoparticle: A remarkably versatile rare earth nanomaterial for biological applications. NPG Asia Materials. 6 (3), 90-116 (2014).
  2. Nelson, B., Johnson, M., Walker, M., Riley, K., Sims, C. Antioxidant cerium oxide nanoparticles in biology and medicine. Antioxidants. 5 (2), 15 (2016).
  3. Gupta, A., Das, S., Neal, C. J., Seal, S. Controlling the surface chemistry of cerium oxide nanoparticles for biological applications. Journal of Materials Chemistry B. 4 (19), 3195-3202 (2016).
  4. Walkey, C., et al. Catalytic properties and biomedical applications of cerium oxide nanoparticles. Environ. Sci.: Nano. 2 (1), 33-53 (2015).
  5. Pulido-Reyes, G., et al. Untangling the biological effects of cerium oxide nanoparticles: the role of surface valence states. Scientific reports. 5, 15613 (2015).
  6. Dutta, P., et al. Concentration of Ce3+ and oxygen vacancies in cerium oxide nanoparticles. Chemistry of Materials. 18 (21), 5144-5146 (2006).
  7. Boghossian, A. A., et al. Application of nanoparticle antioxidants to enable hyperstable chloroplasts for solar energy harvesting. Advanced Energy Materials. 3, 881-893 (2013).
  8. Wu, H., Tito, N., Giraldo, J. P. Anionic cerium oxide nanoparticles protect plant photosynthesis from abiotic stress by scavenging reactive oxygen species. ACS Nano. 11 (11), 11283-11297 (2017).
  9. Giraldo, J. P., et al. Plant nanobionics approach to augment photosynthesis and biochemical sensing. Nature Materials. 13 (4), 400-408 (2014).
  10. Demidchik, V. Mechanisms of oxidative stress in plants: From classical chemistry to cell biology. Environmental and Experimental Botany. 109, 212-228 (2015).
  11. Rico, C. M., et al. Cerium oxide nanoparticles impact yield and modify nutritional parameters in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 62 (40), 9669-9675 (2014).
  12. Rossi, L., Zhang, W., Lombardini, L., Ma, X. The impact of cerium oxide nanoparticles on the salt stress responses of Brassica napus L. Environmental Pollution. 219, 28-36 (2016).
  13. Xu, J., Duan, X., Yang, J., Beeching, J. R., Zhang, P. Enhanced reactive oxygen species scavenging by overproduction of superoxide dismutase and catalase delays postharvest physiological deterioration of cassava storage roots. Plant Physiology. 161 (3), 1517-1528 (2013).
  14. Wu, H., et al. Developing and validating a high-throughput assay for salinity tissue tolerance in wheat and barley. Planta. , (2015).
  15. Pirmohamed, T., et al. Nanoceria exhibit redox state-dependent catalase mimetic activity. Chemical communications. 46 (16), 2736-2738 (2010).
  16. Asati, A., Santra, S., Kaittanis, C., Perez, J. M. Surface-charge-dependent cell localization and cytotoxicity of cerium oxide nanoparticles. ACS nano. 4, 5321-5331 (2010).
  17. Li, J., Wu, H., Santana, I., Fahlgren, M., Giraldo, J. P. Standoff optical glucose sensing in photosynthetic organisms by a quantum dot fluorescent probe. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. , (2018).
  18. Wu, H., Shabala, L., Shabala, S., Giraldo, J. P. Hydroxyl radical scavenging by cerium oxide nanoparticles improves Arabidopsis salinity tolerance by enhancing leaf mesophyll potassium retention. Environmental Science: Nano. 5 (7), 1567-1583 (2018).
  19. Merad-Boudia, M., Nicole, A., Santiard-Baron, D., Saillé, C., Ceballos-Picot, I. Mitochondrial impairment as an early event in the process of apoptosis induced by glutathione depletion in neuronal cells: Relevance to Parkinson's disease. Biochemical Pharmacology. 56 (5), 645-655 (1998).
  20. Zhao, H., et al. Detection and characterization of the product of hydroethidine and intracellular superoxide by HPLC and limitations of fluorescence. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 102 (16), 5727-5732 (2005).
  21. Sun, C., Li, H., Chen, L. Nanostructured ceria-based materials: synthesis, properties, and applications. Energy & Environmental Science. 5 (9), 8475 (2012).
  22. Hirano, M., Inagaki, M. Preparation of monodispersed cerium(iv) oxide particles by thermal hydrolysis: influence of the presence of urea and Gd doping on their morphology and growth. Journal of Materials Chemistry. 10 (2), 473-477 (2000).
  23. Xi, D. M., Liu, W. S., Yang, G. D., Wu, C. A., Zheng, C. C. Seed-specific overexpression of antioxidant genes in Arabidopsis enhances oxidative stress tolerance during germination and early seedling growth. Plant Biotechnology Journal. 8 (7), 796-806 (2010).
  24. Wu, H., Santana, I., Dansie, J., Vivo Giraldo, J. P. In Vivo delivery of nanoparticles into plant leaves. Current Protocols in Chemical Biology. 9 (4), 269-284 (2017).
  25. Fukushima, K., Hasebe, M. Adaxial-abaxial polarity: The developmental basis of leaf shape diversity. Genesis. 52 (1), 1-18 (2014).
  26. Monda, K., et al. Enhanced stomatal conductance by a spontaneous Arabidopsis tetraploid, Me-o, results from increased stomatal size and greater stomatal aperture. Plant physiology. 170 (3), 1435-1444 (2016).
  27. Petrov, V., Hille, J., Mueller-Roeber, B., Gechev, T. S. ROS-mediated abiotic stress-induced programmed cell death in plants. Frontiers in Plant Science. 6, 1-16 (2015).
  28. Chaves, M. M., Flexas, J., Pinheiro, C. Photosynthesis under drought and salt stress: regulation mechanisms from whole plant to cell. Annals of Botany. 103 (4), 551-560 (2009).

This article has been published

Video Coming Soon

JoVE Logo


Terms of Use





Copyright © 2024 MyJoVE Corporation. All rights reserved