Key Laboratory of Pollution Processes and Environmental Criteria (Ministry of Education), Tianjin Key Laboratory of Environmental Remediation and Pollution Control, College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Nankai University, Tianjin, 300350, PR China. Electronic address: [Email]
To assess the role of citric acid, as a typical low-molecular-weight organic acid from root exudates, on cerium (Ce) uptake, accumulation and translocation in rice seedlings (Oryza sativa L.) exposed to two CeO2 nanoparticles (NPs) (14 nm and 25 nm). A hydroponic experiment was performed under two citric acid levels (0.01 and 0.04 mmol L-1) combined with iron plaque presence. Citric acid significantly enhanced surface-Ce, root-Ce and shoot-Ce accumulation, irrespective of NPs size and iron plaque presence. The increased surface-Ce was associated with the promoted interactive attraction between NPs and root surface, and the enhanced NPs dissolution. Surface-Ce (containing crystalline and amorphous fractions of iron plaque) accumulation increased with the increase of citric acid concentrations. However, the enhancement influence of 0.01 mmol L-1 citric acid on root-Ce, shoot-Ce accumulations, rice-Ce distribution and TFroot-shoot was more remarkable than citric acid (0.04 mmol L-1), which suggested higher food security risk for human health with environment-level citric acid. Iron plaque presence attenuated the enhancement effect of citric acid on rice-Ce accumulation and distribution (containing surface-Ce, root-Ce and shoot-Ce) due to the reduced attractive interaction between NPs and root surface from the effect of Fe2+ being dissolved by iron plaque. Above effect of citric acid and iron plaque was more remarkable in 25 nm NP than 14 nm NP.