Metallic oxide nanomaterials act as antioxidant nanozymes in higher plants: Trends, meta-analysis, and prospect

Sci Total Environ. 2021 Aug 1;780:146578. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.146578. Epub 2021 Mar 19.


Improving plant resistance against various environmental stresses is crucial to gain higher agricultural productivity for meeting future food demands of the fast-growing global population. Nanozymes, nanomaterials (NMs) with enzyme-like activity, have shown the potential to defend environmental stresses via scavenging reactive oxygen species (ROS) and augmenting the inherent antioxidant functions of plants. However, several studies confirmed that NMs could cause oxidative damage triggered by excessive ROS. In this study, the conversion mechanism between antioxidant and oxidant activities of metallic oxidative nanozymes was systematically reviewed and evaluated using meta-analysis approach. Moreover, our work attempts to seek the optimal dose and physicochemical property of antioxidant-functionalized NMs and put forward future research directions. The meta-analysis results indicated that NMs at a low dose (below 20 ppm) exhibited antioxidant activity which could scavenge ROS and alleviate their deleterious impacts. Conversely, their oxidant activity was activated at the exposure dose above 200 ppm which might induce ROS overproduction and lead to oxidative stress. Further, root exposure tends to stimulate the oxidant activity of NMs, and the NMs modification is highly promising for improving their bioavailability. A SWOT analysis was conducted to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of agro-applied nanozymes. Therefore, the rational design and development of nanozymes for better antioxidant potential will be beneficial to their applications in agriculture.

Keywords: Antioxidation; Meta-analysis; Metallic oxide nanomaterials; Nanozymes; Oxidative stress.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants*
  • Nanostructures*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxides
  • Plants


  • Antioxidants
  • Oxides