Iron (Fe) and zinc (Zn) are important trace elements for people’s health around the globe. A lot of people, especially children and woman, are suffering from malnutrition caused by Fe and/or Zn deficiency. The deficiency is more pronounced in some parts of Africa and Asia due to low income, which makes it difficult to afford meat or sea foods that are rich in Fe and Zn. Biofortification of Fe and Zn in rice is the most economical and convenient way to supplement these important minerals in the diet of poor people. However, besides Fe and Zn, rice also can accumulate heavy metals, such as cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb), which are harmful to people, especially for kids’ health. Previous researches have shown that there are connections and discrepancies for metal absorption, translocation, and accumulation in rice. So it is imperative to review these issues. This chapter compares the physiological and molecular mechanisms of Fe, Zn, Cd, and Pb uptake, mobilization, and accumulation in rice and discusses the progress and strategies for not only increasing Fe/Zn but also decreasing Cd/Zn accumulation in rice.
Part of the book: Rice Crop