Although rice cultivated under water-saturated conditions as opposed to submerged conditions has received considerable attention with regard to reducing As levels in rice grain, the rhizosphere microbiome potentially influencing As-biotransformation and bioavailability in a rice ecosystem has rarely been studied. In this study, the impacts of flooded, non-flooded and alternate wetting and drying (AWD) practices on rhizosphere bacterial composition and activities that could potentially impact As speciation and accumulation in rhizosphere soil and pore water, As fractions in rhizosphere soil and As speciation and distribution in plant parts were assessed. The results revealed that in addition to pore water As concentration, non-specifically sorbed As fraction, specifically sorbed As fraction and amorphous iron oxide bound As fraction in soil were bio-available to rice plants. In the flooded treatment, As(III) in the pore water was the predominant As species, accounting for 87.3-93.6% of the total As, whereas in the non-flooded and AWD treatments, As(V) was the dominant As species, accounting for 89.6-96.2% and 73.0-83.0%, respectively. The genera Ohtaekwangia, Geobacter, Anaeromyxobacter, Desulfuromonas, Desulfocapsa, Desulfobulbus, and Lacibacter were found in relatively high abundance in the flooded soil, whereas the genera Acinetobacter, Ignavibacterium, Thiobacillus, and Lysobacter were detected in relatively high abundance in the non-flooded soil. Admittedly, the decrease in As level in rice cultivated under the non-flooded and AWD conditions was mostly linked to a relatively high soil redox potential, low As(III) concentration in the soil pore water, a decrease in the relative abundance of As-, Fe- and sulfur-reducing bacteria and an increase in the relative abundance of As-, Fe- and sulfur-oxidizing bacteria in the rhizosphere soil of the rice. This study demonstrated that with substantial reduction in grain As levels and higher water productivity, AWD practice in rice cultivation should be favored over the non-flooded and continuously flooded rice cultivations in As-contaminated sites.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry
- Waste Management and Disposal