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Table 3 The observed positive effects of iron/iron oxide NPs on plants

From: Nanoparticles based on essential metals and their phytotoxicity

Plant Particle size (nm) Particle concentration Comment Observed effect References
Arachis hypogaea γ-Fe2O3, 20 nm 2, 10, 50, 250, 1000 mg kg−1 of soil Fe2O3 NPs were applied into soil and compared with a chelated-Fe fertilizer Fe2O3 NPs increased root length, plant height, biomass, and SPAD values of peanut plants. Fe2O3 NPs adsorbed onto sandy soil and improved the availability of Fe to the plants. Fe2O3 NPs can replace traditional Fe fertilizers in the cultivation of peanut plants [77]
Vigna radiata FeNPs 2–6 nm
+0.2% gum, +0.4% gum
1 mM Fe2+ions Natural biopolymer gum kondagogu as reducing and capping agent was used The radical length and biomass was increased in seeds exposed to Fe NPs in comparison to Fe2+ ions. The α-amylase activity was increased in the seeds exposed to Fe NPs [78]
Spinacea oleracea α-Fe2O3 50 nm 100, 150, 200 mg kg−1 of soil Experiments were performed in a solid hydroponic medium consisting of sawdust and coco peat and adequate amounts of water Positive effects on spinach plant due to uptake of Fe2O3 nanoparticles such as increase in stem and root lengths, biomass production and magnetic properties were observed [19]
Lactuca sativa Core–shell NPs Fe/Fe3O4 13/9 nm 10, 20 mg L−1 15-days treatment of hydroponically grown lettuce The nano-Fe/Fe3O4 at 10 and 20 mg L−1 and FeSO4·7H2O at 10 mg L−1 did not affect lettuce growth and chlorophyll content [71]
Vigna unguiculata <100 nm 25, 500 mg L−1 The elements were applied 56 and 72 days after sowing over the leaves, and data was collected after day 85 Iron had significant effect on yield, leaf Fe content, stem Mg content, plasma membrane stability, and chlorophyll content, probably as a result of more efficient photosynthesis [79]
Glycine max γ-Fe2O3 (IONPS) and citrate coated IONPs 6 nm 500, 1000 mg L−1 Plant physiological performance was assessed after foliar and soil IONPs fertilization IONPs produced a significant positive effect on root elongation. IONPs-Cit significantly enhanced photosynthetic parameters when sprayed foliarly. More pronounced positive effects of IONPs via foliar application than by soil treatment was observed [20]
Glycine max Superparamagnetic iron oxide NPs (SPIONs) 8–12 nm 200, 400, 1000 and 2000 mg L−1 Seed germination of soybean exposed to SPIONs was investigated SPIONs, which were entered and translocated in the soybean, increased chlorophyll levels, with no trace of toxicity [80]