Soil Incorporation of Silica-Rich Rice Husk Decreases Inorganic Arsenic in Rice Grain


Arsenic decreases rice yield, and inorganic grain As threatens human health; thus, strategies to decrease rice As are critically needed. Increased plant-available silica (Si) can decrease rice As, yet the source of Si matters. Rice husk, an underutilized and Si-rich byproduct of rice production that contains less labile C and an order of magnitude less As than rice straw, may be an economically viable Si resource to decrease rice As, yet the impact of rice husk incorporation on As in the rice–soil nexus has not been reported. This proof-of-concept study shows that rice husk incorporation to soil (1% w/w) decreases inorganic grain As by 25–50% without negatively affecting grain Cd, yield, or dissolved CH4 levels. Rice husk is a critical yet perhaps overlooked resource to improve soil quality through enhanced nutrient availability and attenuate human health risks through consumption of As-laden grain.

Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Andrew H. Morris
Andrew H. Morris
Post-doctoral Scholar

Bioinformatician and microbiome scientist.