Arsenic in Rice: An Overview on Stress Implications, Tolerance and Mitigation Strategies

  • Rajib Roychowdhury
  • Md. Hussain Khan
  • Shuvasish Choudhury


Majority of world’s inhabitants consume rice (Oryza sativa L.) and rice products as staple food and major source of carbohydrate. Rice is a strong accumulator of inorganic arsenic (As). Arsenic enters into rice as a result of extensive use of As-contaminated ground water for irrigation of rice field and several other natural or anthropogenic factors. As is non-biodegradable and remains persistent in the soil for a long period of time, thereby enters into the food chain, exerting hazardous impacts on animal health. In comparison to other cereal crops, rice being an efficient arsenic bio-accumulator, the nutritional quality of rice is severely affected due to As toxicity. It enters into the rice system and accumulates through different root transporters – phosphate transporters for As(V), noduline 26-like intrinsic proteins (NIPs) for As (III) and membrane bound aquaporin channels. Researches have been focused to understand and mitigate the impact of arsenic toxicity on rice by evaluating various complex physio-molecular mechanisms associated with the arsenic transport. Screening of the landraces and other genetic stocks for better tolerance and/or resistance nature and incorporation in the breeding strategy, changing in agronomical and cultural practices, biotechnological approaches, etc. appear to be immensely important to understand the impact of the metalloid (like arsenic) in rice. This chapter encompasses the physiological and molecular insight of As transport, accumulation, tolerance and mitigation strategies towards the rice improvement program with a concern of health hazard.


Arsenic Rice Transporters Metalloid stress Health hazard Nutrient management Transgenics 



Arbuscular mycorrhiza


Arsenate reductase




Bundle sheath


Casperian strip


Dimethylarsinic acid


Reduced glutathione


Oxidised glutathione


Silicon and/or arsenic transporter


Monomethylarsonic acid




Noduline 26 like intrinsic protein


Natural resistance associated macrophage protein




Phloem companion cell


Phytochelatin synthase


Phosphate starvation response


Phosphate transporter


Reactive oxygen species




Xylem transfer cell



This work is the outcome of the part of Extramural Research Project vide 38(1430)/17/EMR-II supported by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi, India.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rajib Roychowdhury
    • 1
    • 2
  • Md. Hussain Khan
    • 3
  • Shuvasish Choudhury
    • 1
  1. 1.Plant Stress Biology and Metabolomics Laboratory, Central Instrumentation Laboratory (CIL)Assam Central UniversitySilcharIndia
  2. 2.Department of Vegetables and Field Crops, Institute of Plant SciencesAgricultural Research Organization (ARO) – Volcani CenterRishon LeZionIsrael
  3. 3.Department of BotanyRamakrishna MahavidyalayaKailashar, UnakotiIndia

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