Identification of low inorganic and total grain arsenic rice cultivars from Bangladesh

Gareth J. Norton, M. Rafiqul Islam, Claire M. Deacon, Fang Jie Zhao, Jacqueline L. Stroud, Steve P. Mcgrath, Shofiqul Islam, M. Jahiruddin, Joerg Feldmann, Adam H. Price, Andrew A. Meharg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

135 Citations (Scopus)


For the world's population, rice consumption is a major source of inorganic arsenic (As), a nonthreshold class 1 carcinogen. Reducing the amount of total and inorganic As within the rice grain would reduce the exposure risk. In this study, grain As was measured in 76 cultivars consisting of Bangladeshi landraces, improved Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) cultivars, and parents of permanent mapping populations grown in two field sites in Bangladesh, Faridpur and Sonargaon, irrigated with As-contaminated tubewell water. Grain As ranged from 0.16 to 0.74 mg kg-1 at Faridpur and from 0.07 to 0.28 mg kg-1 at Sonargaon. Highly significant cultivar differences were detected and a significant correlation (r = 0.802) in the grain As between the two field sites was observed, indicating stable genetic differences in As accumulation. The cultivars with the highest concentration of grain As were the Bangladeshi landraces. Landraces with red bran had significantly more grain As than the cultivars with brown bran. The percent of inorganic As decreased linearly with increasing total As, but genetic variation within this trend was identified. A number of local cultivars with low grain As were identified. Some tropical japonica cultivars with low grain As have the potential to be used in breeding programs and genetic studies aiming to identify genes which decrease grain As.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6070-6075
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number15
Publication statusPrint publication - 1 Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes


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