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Sustainable water management in rice cultivation reduces arsenic contamination, increases productivity, microbial molecular response, and profitability

Majumdar, A., Upadhyay, M. K., Giri, B., Yadav, P., Moulick, D., Sarkar, S., Thakur, B. K., Sahu, K., Srivastava, A. K., Buck, M., Tibbett, M. ORCID:, Jaiswal, M. K. and Roychowdhury, T. (2024) Sustainable water management in rice cultivation reduces arsenic contamination, increases productivity, microbial molecular response, and profitability. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 466. 133610. ISSN 1873-3336

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2024.133610


Arsenic (As) and silicon (Si) are two structurally competitive natural elements where Si minimises As accumulation in rice plants, and based on this two-year field trial, the study proposes adopting alternating wetting and drying (AWD) irrigation as a sustainable water management strategy allowing greater Si availability. This fieldbased project is the first report on AWD’s impact on As-Si distribution in fluvio-alluvial soils of the entire Ganga valley (24 study sites, six divisions), seasonal variance (pre-monsoon and monsoon), rice plant anatomy and productivity, soil microbial diversity, microbial gene ontology profiling and associated metabolic pathways. Under AWD to flooded and pre-monsoon to monsoon cultivations, respectively, greater Si availability was achieved and As-bioavailability was reduced by 8.7 ± 0.01–9.2 ± 0.02% and 25.7 ± 0.09–26.1 ± 0.01%. In the pre-monsoon and monsoon seasons, the physiological betterment of rice plants led to the high rice grain yield under AWD improved by 8.4 ± 0.07% and 10.0 ± 0.07%, proving the economic profitability. Compared to waterlogging, AWD evidences as an optimal soil condition for supporting soil microbial communities in rice fields, allowing diverse metabolic activities, including As-resistance, and active expression of As-responsive genes and gene products. Greater expressions of gene ontological terms and complex biochemical networking related to As metabolism under AWD proved better cellular, genetic and environmental responsiveness in microbial communities. Finally, by implementing AWD, groundwater usage can be reduced, lowering the cost of pumping and field management and generating an economic profit for farmers. These combined assessments prove the acceptability of AWD for the establishment of multiple sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Soil Research Centre
Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Sustainable Land Management > Centre for Agri-environmental Research (CAER)
ID Code:115216

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