Rice crops are stressed by cadmium (Cd): A review of the toxic effects, phyto-availability, and mitigation measures

The progress of studies regarding the effects of cadmium accumulation in soil, coupled with the development of various procedures to treat it, significantly benefits toxin-free rice production, according to research published in the IOSR Journal of Environmental Science, Toxicology and Food Technology. The study, led by researchers from the South China Agricultural University and Sierra Leone Agricultural Research Institute (SLARI) – Rokupr Agricultural Research Centre, broadly reviewed the cadmium toxicity of rice – in particular, the phytoavailability, effects, and strategies to increase rice yield and reduce cadmium contamination.

  • Earlier studies have identified cadmium as a major pollutant in rice paddy fields. The chemical is toxic to plants and can cause adverse effects in humans.
  • Cadmium toxicity changes the physical structure and function of rice plants, as well as its biochemical features, which has been a growing cause of concern in terms of food safety and crop yield.
  • It also triggers oxidative stress in rice plants. This, in turn, weakens the plants’ seed germination ability, growth potential, nutrient uptake, photosynthetic pigment, and overall yield.
  • Still, efforts to address minimize the amount of cadmium in rice paddies has been the leading issue among researchers. These methods include biochar amendments, the application of signaling molecules and plant growth regulators, and irrigation – among others – which have been reviewed and recommended for reducing the cadmium toxicity of soil.

The authors of the study posited that further studies would be needed to determine specific aspects; however, the progress made in understanding the effects of cadmium in other plants can be used in studies aimed to reduce its toxicity in rice plants.

Journal Reference:

Kanu AS, Ashraf U, Bangura A, Yang DM, Ngaujah AS, Tang X. CADMIUM (CD) STRESS IN RICE; PHYTO-AVAILABILITY, TOXIC EFFECTS, AND MITIGATION MEASURES-A CRITICAL REVIEW. IOSR Journal of Environmental Science, Toxicology and Food Technology. 2017;11(12):7–23. (1). DOI: 10.9790/2402-1112010723

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