, Volume 347, Issue 1-2, pp 105-114
Date: 27 May 2011

The timing of grain Cd accumulation in rice plants: the relative importance of remobilisation within the plant and root Cd uptake post-flowering

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The pathways by which Cd is accumulated in rice grain are not well understood, in particular the components attributable to direct transfer from the root, and to remobilisation of Cd previously accumulated in other plant parts. In order to observe the timing of Cd accumulation in rice plants and determine the major period for accumulation of Cd which can be translocated to the grain, Cd was supplied to the roots of rice plants grown under static hydroponic conditions at a non-toxic, environmentally relevant concentration (50 nM), according to three different timing regimes: (1) Pre-flowering Cd, (2) Post-flowering Cd, or (3) Continuous Cd. The rate of accumulation of Cd in the developing grain was monitored by harvesting immature rice panicles at four time points prior to a final harvest. Nearly all grain Cd was accumulated within 16 days of anthesis and the contribution of post-flowering Cd uptake was evident from 7 days after flowering. It was estimated that 60% of the final grain Cd content was remobilised from that accumulated by the plant prior to flowering and the other 40% came from uptake during grain maturation. This study shows that Cd uptake from the root to the grain in rice is indeed possible post-flowering and it is an important source of grain Cd.