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[en] Methylmercury (MeHg) accumulation in rice is an emerging human health issue, but uptake pathways and translocation into the grain remain poorly understood. We grew Oryza sativa plants in pots of wetland soil amended with an enriched mercury isotope (94.3% 200Hg) tracer, alongside unvegetated control pots, and assessed both ambient and tracer MeHg and inorganic Hg (IHg) concentrations in soil and plant tissues at three growth stages. Based on similar ratios of ambient:tracer MeHg concentrations in soil and plant tissues, we provide the first direct evidence that MeHg is first synthesized in saturated soil and subsequently translocated to rice grains. There is no evidence of in planta methylation of IHg, but significant losses of MeHg from plant tissues between flowering and maturity indicates likely in planta demethylation. In this greenhouse experiment, lower percent of tracer MeHg in vegetated soils at late growth stages suggests that rice plants reduce the net MeHg accumulation capacity of soils, although the mechanism remains unclear. For IHg, roots accumulated Hg from the soil, straw from the soil and the atmosphere, and grain almost entirely from the atmosphere. Management strategies that aim to reduce MeHg accumulation in rice should focus on mercury methylation in paddy soils, but IHg reductions will depend on regional controls of atmospheric Hg. - Highlights: • Rice (Oryza sativa) was experimentally grown in sediment dosed with enriched 200Hg. • Mercury methylated in sediment was the sole source of methylmercury in rice. • In planta demethylation in rice plants is likely, but in planta methylation is not. • Inorganic Hg in rice grain was almost entirely from an atmospheric source.