Cadmium (Cd) is a water soluble metal pollutant that is not essential to plant growth.It has attracted attention from soil scientists and plant nutritionists in recent years because of its toxicity and mobility in the soil-plant continuum. Even low levels of Cd (0.1-1 J.!M) cause adverse effects on plant growth and metabolism. Cadmium is known to trigger the synthesis of reactive oxygen species, hinder utilization, uptake and transport of essential nutrients and water, and modify photosynthetic machinery,thereby resulting in plant tissue death. Although the effects of Cd are dose- as well as plant species-dependent, some plants show Cd tolerance through a wide range of cellular responses. Such tolerance results from synthesis of osmolytes,generation of enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants and metal-detoxifying peptides, changes in gene expression, and metal ion homeostasis and compartmentalization of ligand-metal complexes. Cd toxicity in plants produces effects on chlorophyllbio synthesis, reduces photosynthesis, and upsets plant water relations and hormonal and/or nutritional balances. All of these effects on plants and on plant metabolism ultimately reduce growth and productivity.In this review, we describe the extent to which Cd affects underlying metabolic processes in plants and how such altered processes affect plant growth. We review the sources of Cd contamination, its uptake, transportation and bioavailability and accumulation in plants, and its antagonistic and synergistic effects with other metals and compounds. We further address the effects of Cd on plant genetics and metabolism,and how plants respond to mitigate the adverse effects of Cd exposure, as well as strategies(e.g., plant breeding) that can reduce the impact of Cd contamination on plants.