This study investigates the impact of an engineered magnetic nanoparticle (MNP) on a crop plant. For this purpose, a sonochemical synthetic approach was utilized in order to dope magnetic elements (Co and Nd) into technologically important iron oxide NPs. After being characterized by using TEM, SEM, and XRD instruments, the MNPs were hydroponically applied to barley plants with varying doses (from 125 to 1000 mg/L) both in germination (4 days) and early growing stages (3 weeks). Physiological responses, as well as expression of photosystem marker genes, were assessed. Compared to the untreated control, MNP treatment enhanced germination rate (similar to 31%), tissue growth (8% in roots, 16% in shoots), biomass (similar to 21%), and chlorophyll (a,b) (similar to 20%), and carotenoids (similar to 22%) pigments. In general, plants showed the highest growth enhancement at 125 or 250 mg/L treatment. However, higher doses diminished the growth indices. Compared to the control, the catalase activity was significantly reduced in the leaves (similar to 33%,p < 0.005) but stimulated in the roots (similar to 46%,p < 0.005). All tested photosystem marker genes (BCA,psbA, andpsaA) were overexpressed in MNP-treated leaves than non-treated control. Moreover, the gene expressions were found to be proportionally increased with increasing MNP doses, indicating a positive correlation between MNPs and the photosynthetic machinery, which could contribute to the enhancement of plant growth.