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Accumulation, transportation, and distribution of tetracycline and cadmium in rice

Co-exposure to heavy metal and antibiotic pollution might result in complexation and synergistic interactions, affecting rice growth and further exacerbating pollutant enrichment. Therefore, our study sought to clarify the influence of different Tetracycline (TC) and Cadmium(Cd) concentration ratios (both alone and combined) on rice growth, pollutant accumulation, and transportation during the tillering stage in hydroponic system. Surprisingly, our findings indicated that the interaction between TC and Cd could alleviate the toxic effects of TC/Cd on aerial rice structures and decrease pollutant burdens during root elongation. In contrast, TC and Cd synergistically promoted the accumulation of TC/Cd in rice roots. However, their interaction increased the accumulation of TC in roots while decreasing the accumulation of Cd when the toxicant doses increased. The strong affinity of rice to Cd promoted its upward transport from the roots, whereas the toxic effects of TC reduced TC transport. Therefore, the combined toxicity of the two pollutants inhibited their upward transport. Additionally, a low concentration of TC promoted the accumulation of Cd in rice mainly in the root tip. Furthermore, a certain dose of TC promoted the upward migration of Cd from the root tip. Laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry demonstrated that Cd mainly accumulated in the epidermis and stele of the root, whereas Fe mainly accumulated in the epidermis, which inhibited the absorption and accumulation of Cd by the rice roots through the generation of a Fe plaque. Our findings thus provide insights into the effects of TC and Cd co-exposure on rice growth.

Publication date: 01/04/2023

Author: Chunfeng He, Jini Zhou, Chen Yang, Zhiyi Song, Junheng He, Ziqing Huang, Yurong Deng, Jinling Wang, Yu Xiong, Zhi Dang

Journal of Environmental Sciences


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 1914.