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Chemosphere. 2006 Jan;62(4):602-7. Epub 2005 Aug 2.

Toxicity of copper on rice growth and accumulation of copper in rice grain in copper contaminated soil.

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Key Lab of Crop Cultivation and Physiology of Jiangsu province, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou 225009, China.


Pot soil experiments showed that copper (Cu) is highly toxic to rice. Rice grain yields decreased exponentially and significantly with the increase of soil Cu levels. Rice grain yield was reduced about 10% by soil Cu level of 100 mg kg(-1), about 50% by soil Cu level of 300-500 mg kg(-1) and about 90% by soil Cu concentration of 1,000 mg kg(-1). Root was more sensitive to soil Cu toxicity than other parts of rice plant at relatively lower soil Cu levels (less than 300-500 mg kg(-1)), but the growth of whole rice plant was severely inhibited at high soil Cu levels (300-500 mg kg(-1) or above). Cu concentrations in rice grain increased with soil Cu levels below 150-200 mg kg(-1), but decreased with soil Cu levels above 150-200 mg kg(-1), with peak Cu concentration at soil Cu level of 150-20 mg kg(-1). Cu was not distributed evenly in different parts of rice grain. Cu concentration in cortex (embryo) was more than 2-fold that in chaff and polished rice. More than 60% of the Cu in grain was accumulated in polished rice, about 24% in cortex (embryo), and about 12% in chaff. So, about 1/3 of the Cu in rice grain was eliminated after grain processing (chaff, cortex and embryo was removed).

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