Cadmium transfer in contaminated soil-rice systems: Insights from solid-state speciation analysis and stable isotope fractionation

Matthias Wiggenhauser, Anne Marie Aucour, Sarah Bureau, Sylvain Campillo, Philippe Telouk, Marco Romani, Jian Feng Ma, Gautier Landrot, Géraldine Sarret

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


Initial Cadmium (Cd) isotope fractionation studies in cereals ascribed the retention of Cd and its light isotopes to the binding of Cd to sulfur (S). To better understand the relation of Cd binding to S and Cd isotope fractionation in soils and plants, we combined isotope and XAS speciation analyses in soil-rice systems that were rich in Cd and S. The systems included distinct water management (flooded vs. non-flooded) and rice accessions with (excluder) and without (non-excluder) functional membrane transporter OsHMA3 that transports Cd into root vacuoles. Initially, 13% of Cd in the soil was bound to S. Through soil flooding, the proportion of Cd bound to S increased to 100%. Soil flooding enriched the rice plants towards heavy isotopes (δ114/110Cd = −0.37 to −0.39%) compared to the plants that grew on non-flooded soils (δ114/110Cd = −0.45 to −0.56%) suggesting that preferentially light Cd isotopes precipitated into Cd sulfides. Isotope compositions in CaCl2 root extracts indicated that the root surface contributed to the isotope shift between soil and plant during soil flooding. In rice roots, Cd was fully bound to S in all treatments. The roots in the excluder rice strongly retained Cd and its lights isotopes while heavy isotopes were transported to the shoots (Δ114/110Cdshoot-root 0.16–0.19‰). The non-excluder rice accumulated Cd in shoots and the apparent difference in isotope composition between roots and shoots was smaller than that of the excluder rice (Δ114/110Cdshoot-root −0.02 to 0.08‰). We ascribe the retention of light Cd isotopes in the roots of the excluder rice to the membrane transport of Cd by OsHMA3 and/or chelating Cd–S complexes in the vacuole. Cd–S was the major binding form in flooded soils and rice roots and partly contributed to the immobilization of Cd and its light isotopes in soil-rice systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115934
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Publication statusPublished - Jan 15 2021


  • Cadmium
  • Isotopes
  • Membrane transporter
  • Redox
  • Rice
  • Speciation
  • Sulfur
  • Vacuole

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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