Mitigation of arsenic accumulation in rice with water management and silicon fertilization

R. Y. Li, J. L. Stroud, J. F. Ma, S. P. Mcgrath, F. J. Zhao

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353 Citations (Scopus)


Rice represents a major route of As exposure in populations that depend on a rice diet. Practical measures are needed to mitigate the problem of excessive As accumulation in paddy rice. Two potential mitigation methods, management of the water regime and Si fertilization, were investigated under greenhouse conditions. Growing rice aerobically during the entire rice growth duration resulted in the least As accumulation. Maintaining aerobic conditions during either vegetative or reproductive stage of rice growth also decreased As accumulation in rice straw and grain significantly compared with rice grown under flooded conditions. The effect of water management regimes was consistent with the observed effect of flooding-induced arsenite mobilization in the soil solution. Aerobic treatments increased the percentage of inorganic As in grain, but the concentrations of inorganic As remained lower than in the flooded rice. Silicon fertilization decreased the total As concentration in straw and grain by 78 and 16%, respectively, even though Si addition increased As concentration in the soil solution. Silicon also significantly influenced As speciation in rice grain and husk by enhancing methylation. Silicon decreased the inorganic As concentration in grain by 59% while increasing the concentration of dimethylarsinic acid (DMA) by 33%. There were also significant differences between two rice genotypes in grain As speciation. This study demonstrated that water management, Si fertilization, and selection of rice cultivars are effective measures that can be used to reduce As accumulation in rice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3778-3783
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - May 15 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry


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