Mr. Gefei Huang


Plastic pollution has become a major public concern in recent years. Nanoplastics (NPs), the tiny debris of large plastic consumables with size below 100 nm, are believed to deposit in both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems 1. Though detrimental effects of NPs on marine organisms were intensively examined, multifaceted toxicity of NPs on terrestrial organisms is still poorly understood 2. Here, we investigated bioaccumulation scenario and hazardous effects of 100 nm polystyrene NPs using the soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans by a combination of high-resolution confocal microscopy, toxicological assays, and RT-qPCR analyses. We demonstrated that 100 nm polystyrene NPs deposited in the entire alimentary system and appeared to be internalized in the cytoplasm of intestinal cells. Bioaccumulation of NPs elicits oxidative stress and intestinal damage in nematodes. Locomotion, fecundity, lifespan, feeding, and intracellular ATP levels were compromised as well. Collectively, our study expands the current knowledge of NPs toxicity on terrestrial organisms.



1 R. Lehner, C. Weder, A. Petri-Fink and B. Rothen-Rutishauser, Environ. Sci. Technol., 2019, 53, 1748–1765.

2 J. A. Pitt, R. Trevisan, A. Massarsky, J. S. Kozal, E. D. Levin and R. T. Di Giulio, Sci. Total Environ., 2018, 643, 324–334.

University: HKBU

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