TitleDistribution and accumulation of mercury in pot-grown African rice cultivars (Oryza glaberrima Steud. and Oryza sativa L.) determined via LA-ICP-MS.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsPunshon, T, Jackson, BP, Donohue, A, Hong, C, Rothenberg, SE
JournalEnviron Geochem Health
Date Published01/2022

There is limited information concerning the distribution of mercury in rice, particularly in African rice. The objective was to compare the distribution of total mercury (THg) and methylmercury (MeHg) in African rice (Oryza glaberrima Steud.) and Asian rice (O. sativa L.). It is hypothesized that increased mineral accumulation and greater stress tolerance in O. glaberrima will affect the uptake and distribution of THg and MeHg, compared to O. sativa. Rice varieties from the Republic of Mali, including O. glaberrima (n =1) and O. sativa (n = 2), were cultivated in a greenhouse, in mercury-spiked soil (50 mg/kg) (n =3 replicates/variety). THg and MeHg concentrations were analyzed in the grain (brown rice), and the THg distribution was analyzed using laser ablation inductively coupled-plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS). THg and MeHg concentrations did not differ between O. glaberrima and O. sativa grain. However, in both O. sativa varieties, THg was highly concentrated in the scutellum, which surrounds the embryo and is removed during polishing. Conversely, in O. glaberrima grain, THg was widely distributed throughout the endosperm, the edible portion of the grain. Differences in the THg distribution in O. glaberrima grain, compared to O. sativa, may elevate the risk of mercury exposure through ingestion of polished rice. The novelty of this study includes the investigation of a less-studied rice species (O. glaberrima), the use of a highly sensitive elemental imaging technique (LA-ICP-MS), and its finding of a different grain THg distribution in O. glaberrima than has been observed in O. sativa.

Alternate JournalEnviron Geochem Health
PubMed ID34981270
Grant ListP42 ES007373 / ES / NIEHS NIH HHS / United States
P42 ES007373 / ES / NIEHS NIH HHS / United States
5P30 CA023108-41 / CA / NCI NIH HHS / United States