Effect of biochar on cadmium bioavailability and uptake in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) grown in a soil with aged contamination

Tahir Abbas, Muhammad Rizwan, Shafaqat Ali, Muhammad Zia-ur-Rehman, Muhammad Farooq Qayyum, Farhat Abbas, Fakhir Hannan, Jörg Rinklebe, Yong Sik Ok

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373 Citations (Scopus)


Cadmium (Cd) is a well-known and widespread toxic heavy metal while the effects of biochar (BC) on Cd bioavailability and toxicity in wheat, especially in soils with aged contamination are largely unknown. In the present study, the effect of rice straw BC on Cd immobilization in soil and uptake by wheat in an agricultural contaminated-soil was investigated. Different levels of rice straw BC (0%, 1.5%, 3.0% and 5% w/w) were incorporated into the soil and incubated for two weeks. After this, wheat plants were grown in the amended soil until maturity. The results show that the BC treatments increased the soil and soil solution pH and silicon contents in the plant tissues and in the soil solution while decreased the bioavailable Cd in soil. The BC application increased the plant-height, spike-length, shoot and root dry mass and grain yield in a dose additive manner when compared with control treatment. As compared to control, BC application increased the photosynthetic pigments and gas exchange parameters in leaves. Biochar treatments decreased the oxidative stress while increased the activities of antioxidant enzymes in shoots compared to the control. The BC treatments decreased the Cd and Ni while increased Zn and Mn concentrations in shoots, roots, and grains of wheat compared to the control. As compared to the control, Cd concentration in wheat grains decreased by 26%, 42%, and 57% after the application of 1.5%, 3.0%, and 5.0% BC respectively. Overall, the application of rice straw BC might be effective in immobilization of metal in the soil and reducing its uptake and translocation to grains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-47
Number of pages11
JournalEcotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jun 1
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Inc.


  • Bioavailability
  • Grain yield
  • Heavy metals
  • Photosynthesis
  • Rice straw biochar

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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