A critical review on effects, tolerance mechanisms and management of cadmium in vegetables

Muhammad Rizwan, Shafaqat Ali, Muhammad Adrees, Muhammad Ibrahim, Daniel C.W. Tsang, Muhammad Zia-ur-Rehman, Zahir Ahmad Zahir, Jörg Rinklebe, Filip M.G. Tack, Yong Sik Ok

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

368 Citations (Scopus)


Cadmium (Cd) accumulation in vegetables is an important environmental issue that threatens human health globally. Understanding the response of vegetables to Cd stress and applying management strategies may help to reduce the Cd uptake by vegetables. The aim of the present review is to summarize the knowledge concerning the uptake and toxic effects of Cd in vegetables and the different management strategies to combat Cd stress in vegetables. Leafy vegetables grown in Cd contaminated soils potentially accumulate higher concentrations of Cd, posing a threat to food commodities. The Cd toxicity decreases seed germination, growth, biomass and quality of vegetables. This reduces the photosynthesis, stomatal conductance and alteration in mineral nutrition. Toxicity of Cd toxicity also interferes with vegetable biochemistry causing oxidative stress and resulting in decreased antioxidant enzyme activities. Several management options have been employed for the reduction of Cd uptake and toxicity in vegetables. The exogenous application of plant growth regulators, proper mineral nutrition, and the use of organic and inorganic amendments might be useful for reducing Cd toxicity in vegetables. The use of low Cd accumulating vegetable cultivars in conjunction with insolubilizing amendments and proper agricultural practices might be a useful technique for reducing Cd exposure in the food chain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-105
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd


  • Heavy metals
  • Mineral nutrition
  • Phytomanagement
  • Soil remediation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • General Chemistry
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry


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