A critical review on the effects of zinc at toxic levels of cadmium in plants

  • Muhammad RizwanEmail author
  • Shafaqat Ali
  • Muhammad Zia ur RehmanEmail author
  • Arosha Maqbool
Review Article


Increasing cadmium (Cd) pollution in agricultural soils has raised serious concerns worldwide. Several exogenous substances can be used to mitigate the toxic effects of Cd in plants. Zinc (Zn) is one of the essential plant micronutrients and is involved in several physiological functions in plants. Zn may alleviate Cd toxicity in plants owing to the chemical similarity of Zn with Cd. Published reports demonstrated that Zn can alleviate toxic effects of Cd in plants by increasing plant growth, regulating Cd uptake, increasing photosynthesis, and reducing oxidative stress. Literature demonstrated that the role of Zn on Cd accumulation by plants is very controversial and depends upon several factors including concentrations of Cd and Zn in the medium, exposure duration, plant species and genotypes, and growth conditions. This review highlights the role of Zn in reducing Cd toxicity in plants and provides new insight that proper level of Zn in plants may enhance plant resistance to excess Cd.


Cadmium accumulation Oxidative stress Photosynthesis Food security 



Financial support from Government College, University Faisalabad is gratefully acknowledged.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental Sciences and EngineeringGovernment College UniversityFaisalabadPakistan
  2. 2.Institute of Soil and Environmental SciencesUniversity of AgricultureFaisalabadPakistan

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