A review on metal-based nanoparticles and their toxicity to beneficial soil bacteria and fungi.


Ameen F(1), Alsamhary K(2), Alabdullatif JA(3), ALNadhari S(4).
Author information:
(1)Department of Botany & Microbiology, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia. Electronic address: [Email]
(2)Department of Biology, College of Science and Humanities in Al-Kharj, Prince Sattam Bin Abdulaziz University, Al-Kharj 11942, Saudi Arabia.
(3)Department of Botany & Microbiology, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia.
(4)Deanship of Scientific Research, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia.


The unregulated deposition of metal-based nanoparticles in terrestrial ecosystems particularly in agricultural systems has alarmingly threatened the sustainability of the environment and diversity of beneficial microbial populations such as soil bacteria and fungi. This occurs due to the poor treatment of biosolids during wastewater treatment and their application in agricultural fields to enhance the fertility of soils. Continuous deposition, low biodegradability, and longer persistence of metal nanoparticles in soils adversely impact the population of soil beneficial bacteria and fungi. The current literature suggests the toxic outcome of nanoparticle-fungi and nanoparticle-bacteria interactions based on various toxicity endpoints. Therefore, due to the extreme importance of beneficial soil bacteria and fungi for soil fertility and plant growth, this review summarizes the production, application, release of metal nanoparticles in the soil system and their impact on various soil microbes specifically plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria, cellular toxicity and impact of nanoparticles on bioactive molecule production by microbes, destructive nanoparticle impact on unicellular, mycorrhizal, and cellulose/lignin degrading fungi. This review also highlights the molecular alterations in fungi and bacteria-induced by nanoparticles and suggests a plausible toxicity mechanism. This review advances the understanding of the nano-toxicity aspect as a common outcome of nanoparticles and fungi/bacteria interactions.