Role of mineral nutrition in minimizing cadmium accumulation by plants

J Sci Food Agric. 2010 Apr 30;90(6):925-37. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.3916.


Cadmium (Cd) is a highly toxic heavy metal for both plants and animals. The presence of Cd in agricultural soils is of great concern regarding its entry into the food chain. Cadmium enters into the soil-plant environment mainly through anthropogenic activities. Compounds of Cd are more soluble than other heavy metals, so it is more available and readily taken up by plants and accumulates in different edible plant parts through which it enters the food chain. A number of approaches are being used to minimize the entry of Cd into the food chain. Proper plant nutrition is one of the good strategies to alleviate the damaging effects of Cd on plants and to avoid its entry into the food chain. Plant nutrients play a very important role in developing plant tolerance to Cd toxicity and thus, low Cd accumulation in different plant parts. In this report, the role of some macronutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur and calcium), micronutrients (zinc, iron and manganese), and silicon (a beneficial nutrient) has been discussed in detail as to how these nutrients play their role in decreasing Cd uptake and accumulation in crop plants.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biological Transport
  • Cadmium / metabolism*
  • Cadmium / toxicity
  • Calcium / pharmacology
  • Crops, Agricultural / metabolism*
  • Micronutrients / pharmacology*
  • Minerals / pharmacology*
  • Nitrogen / pharmacology*
  • Phosphorus / pharmacology
  • Plant Structures
  • Soil
  • Solubility
  • Sulfur / pharmacology


  • Micronutrients
  • Minerals
  • Soil
  • Cadmium
  • Phosphorus
  • Sulfur
  • Nitrogen
  • Calcium