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Researchers explore method to reduce heavy metal contamination in crops

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-04-27 15:46

BEIJING -- Chinese researchers have proposed a cost-effective and practical solution for the safe utilization of farmland polluted with low to moderate levels of heavy metals.

Heavy metal pollution of farmland is a serious problem worldwide, while the consumption of heavy metal-contaminated food products poses significant public health risks.

The low heavy metal cadmium accumulating cultivars can efficiently exclude the cadmium from entering their edible parts by decreasing root cadmium uptake, restricting cadmium translocation from roots to shoots and reducing cadmium translocation from shoots to grains.

The researchers from the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, verified the average cadmium decreasing rate of grains was 58 percent.

They also built a germplasm list of low heavy metal accumulating cultivars, according to different regions, types of heavy metals and crops such as rice and vegetables.

The research article was published in the Journal of Hazardous Materials.

The technology of using low heavy metal accumulating cultivars is promising and practical to mitigate the risk of heavy metal contamination of agricultural products that are grown in polluted soils.

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