Photosynthesis Enhancement in Maize via Nontoxic Orange Carbon Dots

Ivana Milenković, Milan Borišev, Yiqun Zhou, Sladjana Z. Spasić, Roger M. Leblanc, Ksenija Radotić

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The sustained increase in leaf photosynthesis may increase crop yield. Due to many limitations, plants use much less photosynthetic capacity than is theoretically possible. Plant nanobionics investigates nanoparticle application in living plants, which improves certain plant functions. We synthesized and tested nontoxic orange carbon dots (o-CDs) for the photosynthetic efficiency increase in maize (Zea mays L.). We applied o-CDs foliarly or by adding to the growth solution. The photosynthetic parameters and content of photosynthetic pigments were recorded. The total phenolic content (TPC) and total antioxidant activity (TAA) were measured to monitor the plant antioxidant response to o-CDs. The photosynthetic parameters' values were higher for foliar than for solution application. The 1 mg/L o-CDs applied foliarly and 5 mg/L in solution increased photosynthetic parameters in leaves. The o-CDs raised photosynthetic pigments. The TAA and TPC results indicate reduced antioxidant activity in the plant organs more exposed to o-CDs, depending on the way of application.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5446-5451
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number19
StatePublished - May 19 2021


  • antioxidative activity
  • carbon dots
  • crop yield
  • maize
  • phenolic content
  • photosynthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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