Zinc (Zn) is an essential micronutrient for humans, but Zn deficiency has become serious as equally as iron (Fe) and vitamin A deficiencies nowadays. Selection and breeding of high Zn-density crops is a suitable, cost-effective, and sustainable way to improve human health. However, the mechanism of high Zn density in rice grain is not fully understood, especially how Zn transports from soil to grains. Hydroponics experiments were carried out to compare Zn uptake and distribution in two different Zn-density rice genotypes using stable isotope technique. At seedling stage, IR68144 showed higher 68Zn uptake and transport rate to the shoot for the short-term, but no significant difference was observed in both genotypes for the long-term. Zn in xylem sap of IR68144 was consistently higher, and IR68144 exhibited higher Zn absorption ratio than IR64 at sufficient (2.0 µmol/L) or surplus (8.0 µmol/L) Zn supply level. IR64 and IR68144 showed similar patterns of 68Zn accumulation in new leaves at seedling stage and in developing grains at ripening stage, whereas 68Zn in new leaves and grains of IR68144 was consistently higher. These results suggested that a rapid root-to-shoot translocation and enhanced xylem loading capacity may be the crucial processes for high Zn density in rice grains
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