Image_1_Physiological and Molecular Investigation of Urea Uptake Dynamics in Cucumis sativus L. Plants Fertilized With Urea-Doped Amorphous Calcium Ph.pdf (157.41 kB)
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Image_1_Physiological and Molecular Investigation of Urea Uptake Dynamics in Cucumis sativus L. Plants Fertilized With Urea-Doped Amorphous Calcium Phosphate Nanoparticles.pdf

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posted on 07.12.2021, 05:22 by Sebastian B. Feil, Giacomo Rodegher, Federica Gaiotti, Monica Yorlady Alzate Zuluaga, Francisco J. Carmona, Norberto Masciocchi, Stefano Cesco, Youry Pii

At present, the quest for innovative and sustainable fertilization approaches aiming to improve agricultural productivity represents one of the major challenges for research. In this context, nanoparticle-based fertilizers can indeed offer an interesting alternative with respect to traditional bulk fertilizers. Several pieces of evidence have already addressed the effectiveness of amorphous calcium phosphate-based nanoparticles as carriers for macronutrients, such as nitrogen (N), demonstrating increase in crop productivity and improvement in quality. Nevertheless, despite N being a fundamental nutrient for crop growth and productivity, very little research has been carried out to understand the physiological and molecular mechanisms underpinning N-based fertilizers supplied to plants via nanocarriers. For these reasons, this study aimed to investigate the responses of Cucumis sativus L. to amorphous calcium phosphate nanoparticles doped with urea (U-ACP). Urea uptake dynamics at root level have been investigated by monitoring both the urea acquisition rates and the modulation of urea transporter CsDUR3, whereas growth parameters, the accumulation of N in both root and shoots, and the general ionomic profile of both tissues have been determined to assess the potentiality of U-ACP as innovative fertilizers. The slow release of urea from nanoparticles and/or their chemical composition contributed to the upregulation of the urea uptake system for a longer period (up to 24 h after treatment) as compared to plants treated with bulk urea. This prolonged activation was mirrored by a higher accumulation of N in nanoparticle-treated plants (approximately threefold increase in the shoot of NP-treated plants compared to controls), even when the concentration of urea conveyed through nanoparticles was halved. In addition, besides impacting N nutrition, U-ACP also enhanced Ca and P concentration in cucumber tissues, thus having possible effects on plant growth and yield, and on the nutritional value of agricultural products.

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