Arsenic Uptake by Rice Is Influenced by Microbe-Mediated Arsenic Redox Changes in the Rhizosphere

Arsenic (As) uptake by rice is largely determined by As speciation, which is strongly influenced by microbial activities. However, little is known about interactions between root and rhizosphere microbes, particularly on arsenic oxidation and reduction. In this study, two rice cultivars with different radial oxygen loss (ROL) ability were used to investigate the impact of microbially mediated As redox changes in the rhizosphere on As uptake. Results showed that the cultivar with higher ROL (Yangdao) had lower As uptake than that with lower ROL (Nongken). The enhancement of the rhizospheric effect on the abundance of the arsenite (As­(III)) oxidase gene (<i>aroA</i>-like) was greater than on the arsenate (As­(V)) reductase gene (<i>arsC</i>), and As­(V) respiratory reductase gene (<i>arrA</i>), resulting in As oxidation and sequestration in the rhizosphere, particularly for cultivar Yangdao. The community of As­(III)-oxidizing bacteria in the rhizosphere was dominated by α-Proteobacteria and β-Proteobacteria and was influenced by rhizospheric effects, rice straw application, growth stage, and cultivar. Application of rice straw into the soil increased As release and accumulation into rice plants. These results highlighted that uptake of As by rice is influenced by microbial processes, especially As oxidation in the rhizosphere, and these processes are influenced by root ROL and organic matter application.