The threshold effect between the soil bioavailable molar Se:Cd ratio and the accumulation of Cd in corn (Zea mays L.) from natural Se-Cd rich soils

Zezhou Zhang, Linxi Yuan*, Shihua Qi, Xuebin Yin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


There is little available information about the important interactions between selenium and cadmium (Se-Cd) in crops grown on natural Se-Cd rich soils. We investigated their interactive effects on the translocation and uptake of Se and Cd from soils to crops. Corn (Zea mays L.) roots, stems, leaves, and grains, and their corresponding rhizosphere soils were collected from naturally Se-Cd rich areas in Wumeng Mountain, Guizhou, China. The Se and Cd levels were determined in the soils, roots, stems, leaves, and grains. Soil bioavailable Se and Cd were also determined. The low soil bioavailable molar ratios for Se and Cd (Se:Cd) (≤0.7) improved Cd accumulation in the plants. However, relatively high Se:Cd molar ratios (>0.7) in the soils prevented Cd from entering the plants, but the effect of the soil Se:Cd on Se accumulation in corn was not significant. The strong anion exchange-high performance liquid chromatography-inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy (SAX-HPLC-ICP-MS) chromatograms showed that Se-Cd complexes occurred in the leaves, which likely indicated that direct interactions between Se and Cd happened there. The results suggested that thresholds for soil bioavailable Se:Cd molar ratios played a role in the interaction between Se and Cd in corn under natural conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1228-1235
Number of pages8
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Cadmium (Cd)
  • Molar ratios
  • Selenium (Se)
  • Selenium speciations
  • Threshold effects

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