Oryza sativa Linn. (rice) and Corchorus capsularis Linn. (jute) are the two major crops of the Bengal basin. Both rice and jute are generally grown in submerged flooded conditions, where arsenic bioavailability is high in soil. The consumers of the edible parts from both plants therefore face an inevitable source of exposure to arsenic, with consequent accumulation and toxicity. The objective of the study was to observe the in-vivo temporal variation of arsenic bioaccumulation in the different parts of O. sativa and C. capsularis. Rice plant specimens (Aman rice, Ratna variety) of different age groups (1, 2 and 3 months old) were analyzed in HG-AAS for absorbed arsenic content in different parts. The accumulation of arsenic remained significantly high in the initial phase of growth, but decreased with time. Amount of arsenic bioaccumulation followed the decreasing order: root > basal stem > median stem > apical stem > leaves > grains in all the three age groups of the rice plant samples. C. capsularis followed a trend of arsenic bioaccumulation similar to O. sativa. O. sativa had more accumulation potential than C. capsularis, but C. capsularis showed much higher efficiency of arsenic translocation in the above ground parts. This is the first ever report of time-dependent decrease in arsenic bioaccumulation in O. sativa and C. capsularis. The contamination level can reach the grain part in significant amount and can cause health hazards in more severely arsenic affected areas. Intensive investigation on a complete food chain is urgently needed in the arsenic contaminated zones for further risk assessments.
International Letters of Natural Sciences (Volume 21)
S. Bhattacharya et al., "Trend of Arsenic Pollution and Subsequent Bioaccumulation in Oryza sativa and Corchorus capsularis in Bengal Delta", International Letters of Natural Sciences, Vol. 21, pp. 1-9, 2014