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Impact of agronomic practices on arsenic accumulation and speciation in rice grain

Ma, Rui, Shen, Jianlin, Wu, Jinshui, Tang, Zhong, Shen, Qirong, Zhao, Fang-Jie
Environmental pollution 2014 v.194 pp. 217-223
anaerobic conditions, arsenic, arsenites, biochar, fertilizer rates, genes, methylation, methyltransferases, nitrogen fertilizers, organic fertilizers, paddies, rice, soil, straw, water management, China
Rice is a major source of dietary arsenic (As). The effects of paddy water management, straw incorporation, the applications of nitrogen fertilizer or organic manure, and the additions of biochar on arsenic accumulation and speciation in rice grain were investigated under field conditions over four cropping seasons in Hunan, China. Treatments that promoted anaerobic conditions in the soil, including continuous flooding and straw incorporation, significantly increased the concentration of As, especially methylated As species, in rice grain, whereas N application rate and biochar additions had little or inconsistent effect. Continuous flooding and straw incorporation also increased the abundance of the arsenite methyltransferase gene arsM in the soil, potentially enhancing As methylation in the soil and the uptake of methylated As by rice plants. Intermittent flooding was an effective method to decrease As accumulation in rice grain.