Overcoming arsenic stress using iron-oxide doped rice biochar

Arsenic (As) contamination in soil influences the physio-chemical properties of plants. Majumdar et al. propose the use of rice biochar (RBC) doped with iron oxide (IO) nanoparticles, an eco-friendly composite, to minimize As toxicity in plants. Rice plants grown on As-contaminated soil with the composite showed reduced stress markers, whereas the control plants grown in As-contaminated soil showed increased markers such as malondialdehyde and total protein content. Assessment of internal vascular structures was performed using field emission scanning electron microscopy. Application of RBC+IO enabled the plant to maintain structural confinements and cellular integrity. However, the control plant suffered severe tissue breakage and fragility. Hence, Majumdar et al. claim that application of RBC+IO reduces the bioavailability of As particles in the soil, thus contributing to the maintenance of anatomical integrity of the rice plants. This study suggests an environmentally sustainable method to reduce As stress in plants and enhance agricultural productivity. (Summary by Kumanan N Govaichelvan, @NGKumanan) Chemosphere, 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2022.137117