Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 71, Issue 4, pp 1663–1672 | Cite as

Effectiveness of zinc application to minimize cadmium toxicity and accumulation in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)

  • SaifullahEmail author
  • Nadeem Sarwar
  • Sadia Bibi
  • Mahtab Ahmad
  • Yong Sik Ok
Original Article


Cadmium (Cd) is a highly toxic heavy metal and its presence in soil is of great concern due to the danger of its entry into the food chain. Among many others, proper plant nutrition is an economic and practicable strategy for minimizing the damage to plants from Cd and to decrease Cd accumulation in edible plant parts. The study was carried out to compare the effectiveness of soil and foliar applications of zinc (Zn) to minimize Cd accumulation in wheat grains. The results revealed that the exposure of plants to Cd decreased plant growth and increased Cd concentration in the shoots and grains of wheat, when compared with unexposed plants. Foliar application of 0.3 % zinc sulfate solution effectively decreased Cd concentration in wheat grains. Foliar application of Zn at a suitable concentration can effectively ameliorate the adverse effects of Cd exposure and decrease the grain Cd concentration of wheat grown in Cd-contaminated soil.


Cadmium Zinc Toxicity Accumulation Reactive oxygen species Antioxidant enzymes 



The authors acknowledge the financial support from Higher Education Commission, Islamabad, Pakistan for the execution of project “Safe Food Production from Soils Contaminated with Cadmium”. Prof. Yong Sik Ok was supported by the Ministry of Environment, Republic of Korea as “The GAIA Project” and the National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean Government (Project No. 2012R1A1B3001409). Instrumental analysis was partly supported by the Korea Basic Science Institute, the Institute of Environment Research, and the Central Laboratory of Kangwon National University in Korea.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Saifullah
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nadeem Sarwar
    • 1
  • Sadia Bibi
    • 1
  • Mahtab Ahmad
    • 2
  • Yong Sik Ok
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Soil and Environmental SciencesUniversity of AgricultureFaisalabadPakistan
  2. 2.Environmental Remediation and Restoration Laboratory, Department of Biological EnvironmentKangwon National UniversityChuncheonKorea

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