Combined use of different nanoparticles effectively decreased cadmium (Cd) concentration in grains of wheat grown in a field contaminated with Cd

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Cadmium (Cd) accumulation in arable lands has become a serious matter for food security. Among various approaches, the application of nanoparticles (NPs) for remediation of contaminated water and soils is attaining more popularity worldwide. The current field experiment was executed to explore the impacts of single and combined use of ZnO NPs, Fe NPs and Si NPs on wheat growth and Cd intake by plants in a Cd-contaminated field. Wheat was sown in a field which was contaminated with Cd and was irrigated with the raw-city effluent while NPs were applied as foliar spray alone and in all possible combinations. The data revealed that straw and grain yields were enhanced in the presence of NPs over control. Chlorophyll, carotenoids contents and antioxidants activities were enhanced while electrolyte leakage was reduced with all NPs over control. In comparison with control, Cd uptake in wheat straw was reduced by 84% and Cd uptake in grain was reduced by 99% in T8 where all three NPs were foliar-applied simultaneously. Zinc (Zn) and iron (Fe) contents were increased in those plants where ZnO and Fe NPs were exogenously applied which revealed that ZnO and Fe NPs enhanced the bio-fortification of Zn and Fe in wheat grains. Overall, foliar application of different NPs is beneficial for better wheat growth, yield, nutrients uptake and to lessen the Cd intake by plants grown in Cdcontaminated soil under real field conditions.