Exogenous application of low and high molecular weight organic acids differentially affected the uptake of cadmium in wheat-rice cropping system in alkaline calcareous soil

Document Type


Source of Publication

Environmental Pollution

Publication Date



Anthropogenic cadmium (Cd) in arable soils is becoming a global concern due to its harmful effects on crop yield and quality. The current study examined the role of exogenously applied low molecular weight organic acids (LMWOAs) including oxalic acid (OxA), tartaric acid (TA) and high molecular weight organic acids (HMWOAs) like citric acid (CA) and humic acid (HA) for the bioavailability of Cd in wheat-rice cropping system. Maximum increase in root dry-weight, shoot dry-weight, and grain/paddy yields was recorded with HA for both crops. The HA significantly decreased AB-DTPA Cd in contaminated soils which remained 41% for wheat and 48% for rice compared with their respective controls. The minimum concentration of Cd in roots, shoots and grain/paddy was observed in HA treatment in both crops. The organic acids significantly increased the growth parameters, photosynthetic activity, and relative leaf moisture contents for both wheat and rice crops compared to that with the contaminated control. Application of OxA and TA increased the bioavailability of Cd in soils and plant tissues while CA and HA decreased the bioavailability of Cd in soils and plants. The highest decrease in Cd uptake, bioaccumulation, translocation factor, immobilization, translocation, harvest, and health risk indices were observed with HA while maximum increase was recorded with OxA for both wheat and rice. The results concluded that use of HMWOAs is effective in soil Cd immobilization being maximum with HA. While LMWOAs can be used for the phytoextraction of Cd in contaminated soils having maximum potential with OxA.




Elsevier BV




Life Sciences


Bioaccumulation, HMWOAs, Immobilization, LMWOAs, Phytoextraction

Scopus ID


Indexed in Scopus


Open Access