Food crop seedlings often have susceptibility to various abiotic and biotic stresses. Therefore, in the present study, we investigated the impact of Cu-chitosan nanoparticles (NPs) on physiological and biochemical changes during maize seedling growth. Higher values of percent germination, shoot and root length, root number, seedling length, fresh and dry weight, and seed vigor index were obtained at 0.04-0.12% concentrations of Cu-chitosan NPs as compared to water, CuSO4, and bulk chitosan treatments. Cu-chitosan NPs at the same concentrations induced the activities of α-amylase and protease enzymes and also increased the total protein content in germinating seeds. The increased activities of α-amylase and protease enzymes corroborated with decreased content of starch and protein, respectively, in the germinating seeds. Cu-chitosan NPs at 0.16% and CuSO4 at 0.01% concentrations showed inhibitory effect on seedling growth. The observed results on seedling growth could be explained by the toxicity of excess Cu and growth promotory effect of Cu-chitosan NPs. Physiological and biochemical studies suggest that Cu-chitosan NPs enhance the seedling growth of maize by mobilizing the reserved food, primarily starch, through the higher activity of α-amylase.
- seedling growth
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)