Carbon Nanotubes Are Able to Penetrate Plant Seed Coat and Dramatically Affect Seed Germination and Plant Growth

ACS Nano. 2009 Oct 27;3(10):3221-7. doi: 10.1021/nn900887m.


Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) were found to penetrate tomato seeds and affect their germination and growth rates. The germination was found to be dramatically higher for seeds that germinated on medium containing CNTs (10-40 mug/mL) compared to control. Analytical methods indicated that the CNTs are able to penetrate the thick seed coat and support water uptake inside seeds, a process which can affect seed germination and growth of tomato seedlings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Retracted Publication

MeSH terms

  • Biomass
  • Fertilizers
  • Germination / drug effects*
  • Lycopersicon esculentum / drug effects*
  • Lycopersicon esculentum / growth & development*
  • Lycopersicon esculentum / metabolism
  • Nanotubes, Carbon*
  • Seeds / drug effects*
  • Seeds / growth & development*
  • Seeds / metabolism
  • Water / metabolism


  • Fertilizers
  • Nanotubes, Carbon
  • Water