Trace elements (TEs) are vital for the operation of metabolic pathways that promote growth and structural integrity. Paddy soils are often prone to TE limitation due to intensive cultivation and irrigation practices. Apart from this, rice paddies are potentially contaminated with transition metals such as Cd, which are often referred to as toxic TEs. Deficiency of TEs in the soil not only delays plant growth but also causes exposure of plant roots to toxic TEs. Fine-tuning of nutrient cycling in the rice field is a practical solution to cope with TEs deficiency. Adjustment of soil physicochemical properties, biological process such as microbial activities, and fertilization helps to control TEs mobilization in soil. Modifications in root architecture, metal transporters activity, and physiological processes are also promising approaches to enhance TEs accumulation in grains. Through genetic manipulation, these modifications help to increase TE mining capacity of rice plants as well as transport and trafficking of TEs into the grains. The present review summarizes that regulation of TE mobilization in soil, and the genetic improvement of TE acquisition traits help to boost essential TE content in rice grain.
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