Arsenic (As) is a toxic metalloid. Serious concerns have been raised in literature owing to its potential toxicity towards living beings. The metalloid causes various water- and food-borne diseases. Among food crops, rice contains the highest concentrations of As. Consuming As-contaminated rice results in serious health issues. Arsenic concentration in rice is governed by various factors in the rhizosphere such as availability and concentration of various mineral nutrients (iron, phosphate, sulfur and silicon) in soil solution, soil oxidation/reduction status, inter-conversion between organic and inorganic As compounds. Agronomic and civil engineering methods can be adopted to decrease As accumulation in rice. Agronomic methods such as improving soil porosity/aeration by irrigation management or creating the conditions favorable for As-precipitate formation, and decreasing As uptake and translocation by adding a inorganic nutrients that compete with As are easy and cost effective techniques at field scale. This review focuses on the factors regulating and competing As in soil-plant system and As accumulation in rice grains. Therefore, it is suggested that judicious use of water, management of soil, antagonistic effects of various inorganic plant-nutrients to As should be considered in rice cultivated areas to mitigate the building up of As in human food chain and with minimum negative impact to the environment.
- Agronomic and civil engineering methods
- Human food chain
- Rice grain