Currently, nanometal oxides are used extensively in different industries such as medicine, cosmetics and food. The increased consumption of nanoparticles (NPs) leads the necessity to understand the fate of the nanoparticles in the environment. The present study focused on the ecotoxicological behaviour of bulk and nano ZrO2 (Zirconia) and TiO2 (Titania) particles on PGPR (plant growth promoting rhizobacteria), soil and its nutrient contents. The microbial susceptibility study showed that nano TiO2 had 13 +/- 0.9 mm (B. megaterium), 15 +/- 0.2 mm (P. fluorescens), 16 +/- 0.2 mm (A. vinelandii) and 12 +/- 0.3 mm (B. brevis) zones of inhibition. However, nano and bulk ZrO2 particles were non-toxic to PGPR. In addition, it was found that toxicity varied depends on the medium of reaction. The soil study showed that nano TiO2 was found to be highly toxic, whereas bulk TiO2 was less toxic towards soil bacterial populations at 1000 mg L(-1). In contrast, nano and bulk ZrO2 were found to be inert at 1000 mg L(-1). The observed zeta potential and hydrophobicity of TiO2 particles causes more toxic than ZrO2 in parallel with particle size. However, nano TiO2 decreases the microbial population as well as nutrient level of the soil but not zirconia. Our finding shows that the mechanism of toxicity depends on size, hydrophobic potential and zeta potential of the metal oxide particles. Thus, it is necessary to take safety measures during the disposal and use of such toxic nanoparticles in the soil to prevent their hazardous effects.