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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 501326, 7 pages
Research Article

Toxic Effects of Nickel Oxide Bulk and Nanoparticles on the Aquatic Plant Lemna gibba L.

1Département de Chimie, Université du Québec à Montréal, CP 8888, Succursale Centre-Ville, Montréal, QC, Canada H3C 3P8
2Faculté des Sciences de Bizerte, Université de Carthage, Jarzouna, 7021 Bizerte, Tunisia

Received 25 June 2014; Revised 14 September 2014; Accepted 29 September 2014

Academic Editor: Rishi Shanker

Copyright © 2015 Abdallah Oukarroum et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The aquatic plant Lemna gibba L. was used to investigate and compare the toxicity induced by 30 nm nickel oxide nanoparticles (NiO-NPs) and nickel(II) oxide as bulk (NiO-Bulk). Plants were exposed during 24 h to 0–1000 mg/L of NiO-NPs or NiO-Bulk. Analysis of physicochemical characteristics of nanoparticles in solution indicated agglomerations of NiO-NPs in culture medium and a wide size distribution was observed. Both NiO-NPs and NiO-Bulk caused a strong increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation, especially at high concentration (1000 mg/L). These results showed a strong evidence of a cellular oxidative stress induction caused by the exposure to NiO. Under this condition, NiO-NPs and NiO-Bulk induced a strong inhibitory effect on the PSII quantum yield, indicating an alteration of the photosynthetic electron transport performance. Under the experimental conditions used, it is clear that the observed toxicity impact was mainly due to NiO particles effect. Therefore, results of this study permitted determining the use of ROS production as an early biomarker of NiO exposure on the aquatic plant model L. gibba used in toxicity testing.