Effect of selenium fertilization on the accumulation of cadmium and lead in rice plants

Ying Hu, Gareth John Norton, Guilan Duan*, Yanchao Huang, Yunxia Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Citations (Scopus)


Methods: Rice plants were cultivated using cadmium and lead contaminated soils with selenium addition at three concentrations (0, 0.5 and 1 mg kg−1). At maturity, plants were harvested, and element concentrations in rice tissues were analyzed by using ICP-MS.

Background and Aims: The accumulation of cadmium and lead in rice (Oryza sativa L.) grains is a potential threat to human health. In this study, the effect of selenium fertilization on the uptake and translocation of cadmium and lead in rice plants was investigated.

Results: Selenium application significantly increased selenium accumulation in rice grain, and markedly decreased cadmium and lead concentrations in rice tissues. In brown rice grains, selenium application reduced cadmium concentrations by 44.4 %, but had no significant effect on lead accumulation. Selenium application significantly decreased metal mobility in soils, at 0.5 mg kg−1 treatment, the translocation factor of cadmium and lead from soil to iron plaque decreased by 71 and 33 % respectively.

Conclusions: The mechanism of selenium mitigating of heavy metal accumulation in rice could be decreasing metal bioavailability in soil. Selenium fertilization could be an effective and feasible method to enrich selenium and reduce cadmium levels in brown rice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-140
Number of pages10
JournalPlant and Soil
Issue number1-2
Early online date12 Jul 2014
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014


  • cadmium
  • lead
  • rice
  • se-biofortification
  • selenium
  • translocation factor


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