Duplication of a manganese/cadmium transporter gene reduces cadmium accumulation in rice grain

En Yu, Wenguang Wang, Naoki Yamaji, Shuichi Fukuoka, Jing Che, Daisei Ueno, Tsuyu Ando, Fenglin Deng, Kiyosumi Hori, Masahiro Yano, Ren Fang Shen, Jian Feng Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Global contamination of soils with toxic cadmium (Cd) is a serious health threat. Here we found that a tandem duplication of a gene encoding a manganese/Cd transporter, OsNramp5, was responsible for low-Cd accumulation in Pokkali, an old rice cultivar. This duplication doubled the expression of OsNramp5 gene but did not alter its spatial expression pattern and cellular localization. Higher expression of OsNramp5 increased uptake of Cd and Mn into the root cells but decreased Cd release to the xylem. Introgression of this allele into Koshihikari, an elite rice cultivar, through backcrossing significantly reduced Cd accumulation in the grain when cultivated in soil heavily contaminated with Cd but did not affect both grain yield and eating quality. This study not only reveals the molecular mechanism underlying low-Cd accumulation but also provides a useful target for breeding rice cultivars with low-Cd accumulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)597-607
Number of pages11
JournalNature Food
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science


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