Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 11, pp 11288–11299 | Cite as

Combined use of biochar and zinc oxide nanoparticle foliar spray improved the plant growth and decreased the cadmium accumulation in rice (Oryza sativa L.) plant

  • Shafaqat Ali
  • Muhammad RizwanEmail author
  • Shamaila Noureen
  • Sarwat Anwar
  • Basharat AliEmail author
  • Muhammad Naveed
  • Elsayed Fathi Abd_Allah
  • Abdulaziz A. Alqarawi
  • Parvaiz Ahmad
Research Article


The contamination of large areas of arable land with cadmium (Cd) is a serious concern worldwide and environmentally feasible amendments are necessary to minimize Cd accumulation in cereals such as rice (Oryza sativa L.). A pot study was, therefore, conducted to evaluate the efficiency of foliar spray of different levels (0, 50, 75, 100 mg/L) of zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) alone or combined with biochar (1.0% w/w) on Cd content in rice plants grown on an aged Cd-polluted soil. The results showed that ZnO NPs alone or combined with biochar improved the biomass and photosynthesis of rice plant. The ZnO NPs significantly diminished the Cd concentration and enhanced the Zn concentrations in shoots and roots either alone or in combination with biochar. Foliar spray of 100 mg/L ZnO NPs significantly diminished the Cd content in rice shoot and rice roots by 30% and 31%, respectively. The Cd concentrations in rice shoot and root diminished by 39% and 38% after 100 mg/L ZnO NPs combined with biochar, respectively. The ZnO NPs in combination with biochar increased the soil pH from 8.03 to 8.23 units. Soil AB-DTPA-extractable Cd significantly reduced with the amendments applied over the control. Foliar spray of ZnO NPs combined with biochar could be used to grow rice plants especially in areas where Cd concentration is high and Zn deficiency is high.


Cadmium Nanoparticles Biochar Rice Photosynthesis 


Funding information

Financial support was received from the Government College University, Faisalabad and Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan under NRPU Project No. 5634/Punjab/NRPU/R&D/HEC/2016. Funding was received from Deanship of Scientific Research at King Saud University to the Research Group number (RG-199).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shafaqat Ali
    • 1
  • Muhammad Rizwan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Shamaila Noureen
    • 1
  • Sarwat Anwar
    • 1
  • Basharat Ali
    • 2
    Email author
  • Muhammad Naveed
    • 3
  • Elsayed Fathi Abd_Allah
    • 4
  • Abdulaziz A. Alqarawi
    • 4
  • Parvaiz Ahmad
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Sciences and EngineeringGovernment College UniversityFaisalabadPakistan
  2. 2.Department of AgronomyUniversity of AgricultureFaisalabadPakistan
  3. 3.Institute of Soil and Environmental SciencesUniversity of AgricultureFaisalabadPakistan
  4. 4.Plant Production Department, College of Food and Agricultural SciencesKing Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  5. 5.Botany and Microbiology Department, College of ScienceKing Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  6. 6.Department of BotanyS.P. CollegeJammu and KashmirIndia

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