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

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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.

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