American Chemical Society
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The Role of Irrigation Techniques in Arsenic Bioaccumulation in Rice (Oryza sativa L.)

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journal contribution
posted on 2016-02-20, 15:21 authored by Antonino Spanu, Leonardo Daga, Anna Maria Orlandoni, Gavino Sanna
The bioaccumulation of arsenic compounds in rice is of great concern worldwide because rice is the staple food for billions of people and arsenic is one of the most toxic and carcinogenic elements at even trace amounts. The uptake of arsenic compounds in rice comes mainly from its interaction with system soil/water in the reducing conditions typical of paddy fields and is influenced by the irrigation used. We demonstrate that the use of sprinkler irrigation produces rice kernels with a concentration of total arsenic about fifty times lower when compared to rice grown under continuous flooding irrigation. The average total amount of arsenic, measured by a fully validated ICP-MS method, in 37 rice grain genotypes grown with sprinkler irrigation was 2.8 ± 2.5 μg kg–1, whereas the average amount measured in the same genotypes grown under identical conditions, but using continuous flooding irrigation was 163 ± 23 μg kg–1. In addition, we find that the average concentration of total arsenic in rice grains cultivated under sprinkler irrigation is close to the total arsenic concentration found in irrigation waters. Our results suggest that, in our experimental conditions, the natural bioaccumulation of this element in rice grains may be completely circumvented by adopting an appropriate irrigation technique.