Plant and Soil

, Volume 285, Issue 1–2, pp 187–195 | Cite as

Selenium distribution in ryegrass and its antioxidant role as affected by sulfur fertilization

  • Paula Cartes
  • Carolina Shene
  • María Luz Mora
Original paper


Selenium (Se) essentiality to plants has not been demonstrated although evidence indicates that it plays a significant role as antioxidant in higher plants. Research concerning to the uptake and allocation of Se in plant tissues is reported in numerous works. However, the effect of sulfur (S) on both the distribution and the antioxidant ability of Se in selenite-treated plant remains unclear. In this work the effect of S application (0–100 mg S kg−1 soil) on shoot Se concentration of Lolium perenne cv. Aries was studied. Se distribution into different fractions of plants supplied with selenite (2 mg Se kg−1 soil) and the state of the antioxidative system were determined. Results showed that shoot Se concentration decreased at least 33% by S application. Plants supplied with S registered the lowest GSH-Px activity and the highest lipid peroxidation. Most of Se was incorporated into the organic fraction of the plant tissue irrespective of the S treatment. However, a significant decrease of both the soluble protein and the amino acid fraction occurred, and the residual Se fraction seemed to increase at expense of the organic-Se soluble fraction. Although no essential selenoproteins have been clearly identified in vascular plants, the decrease of the soluble protein fraction and the different pattern of protein synthesized (SDS-PAGE analysis) may explain the observed reduction of the GSH-Px activity.


GSH-Px Ryegrass Se-fractions Selenite TBARS 



Glutathione peroxidase


Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis


Thiobarbituric acid reactive substances


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.



This work was supported by the FONDECYT project 1020934 and by the Grant projects Fundación Andes C-13755-28 and MECESUP FRO 0309. The authors especially thank Dr. Helinä Hartikainen for hosting Dr. Cartes between May and July of 2003 in the Department of Applied Chemistry and Microbiology of Helsinki University-Finland, and her help for the learning of the analytical techniques for the determination of plant Se concentration, lipid peroxidation, GSH-Px activity and Se fractionation in plant tissues. A sincere gratefulness to Dr. Päivi Ekholm, MSc. Maija Ylinen, Dr. Riitta Kivikari and Ms. Salla Hartikainen for their technical support at Helsinki University.


  1. Arvy MP (1989) Some factors influencing the uptake and distribution of selenite in the bean plant (Phaseolus vulgaris). Plant Soil 117:129–133CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arvy MP (1993) Selenate and selenite uptake and translocation in bean plants (Phaseolus vulgaris). J Exp Bot 44:1083–1087Google Scholar
  3. Asher CJ, Butler GW, Peterson PJ (1977) Selenium transport in root systems of tomato. J Exp Bot 28:279–291Google Scholar
  4. Banuelos GS, Meek DW (1990) Accumulation of selenium in plants grown on selenium-treated soil. J Environ Qual 19:772–777CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Barrow NJ, Cartes P, Mora ML (2005) Modifications to the Freundlich equation to describe anion sorption over a large range and to describe competition between pairs of ions. Eur J Soil Sci 56:601–606CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bell PF, Parker DR, Page AL (1992) Contrasting selenate–sulfate interactions in selenium-accumulating and nonaccumulating plant species. Soil Sci Soc Am J 56:1818–1824CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bradford M (1976) A rapid and sensitive method for the quantitation of microgram quantities of protein utilizing the principle of protein-dye binding. Anal Biochem 72:248–254CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Cartes P, Gianfreda L, Mora ML (2005) Uptake of selenium and its antioxidant activity in ryegrass when applied as selenate and selenite forms. Plant Soil 276:359–367CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Damerval C, De Vienne D, Zivy M, Thiellement H (1986) Technical improvements in two-dimensional electrophoresis increase the level of genetic variation detected in wheat-seedling proteins. Electrophoresis 7:52–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. de Souza MP, Pilon-Smits EAH, Lytle CM, Hwang S, Tai J, Honma TSU, Yeh L, Terry N (1998) Rate-limiting steps in selenium assimilation and volatilization by Indian mustard. Plant Physiol 117:1487–1494CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Du Z, Bramlage WJ (1992) Modified thiobarbituric acid assay for measuring lipid oxidation in sugar-rich plant tissue extracts. J Agric Food Chem 40:1566–1570CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Ellis DR, Salt DE (2003) Plants, selenium and human health. Curr Opin Plant Biol 6:273–279CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Flohé L, Günzler WA, Schock HH (1973) Glutathione peroxidase: a selenoenzyme. FEBS Lett 32:132–134CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Flohé L, Günzler WA (1984) Assays of glutathione peroxidase. In: Packer L (ed) Methods in enzymology, vol 105, Academic Press, Inc., New York. pp 114–121Google Scholar
  15. Fu L-H, Wang X-F, Eyal Y, She Y-M, Donald LJ, Standing KG, Ben-Hayyim G (2002) A selenoprotein in the plant kingdom. Mass spectrometry confirms that an opal codon (UGA) encodes selenocysteine in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii glutathione peroxidase. J Biol Chem 277:25983–25991CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Gunter SA, Beck PA, Phillips JM (2003) Effects of supplementary selenium source on the performance and blood measurements in beef cows and their calves. J Anim Sci 81:856–864PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Hartikainen H (2005) Biogeochemistry of selenium and its impact on food chain quality and human health. J Trace Elem Med Biol 18:309–318CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Hartikainen H, Ekholm P, Piironen V, Xue T, Koivu T, Yli-Halla M (1997) Quality of the ryegrass and lettuce yields as affected by selenium fertilization. Agric Food Sci Finland 6:381–387Google Scholar
  19. Hartikainen H, Xue T, Piironen V (2000) Selenium as an anti-oxidant and pro-oxidant in ryegrass. Plant Soil 225:193–200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hatfield D, Choi IS, Mischke S, Owens LD (1992) Selenocysteyl-tRNAs recognize UGA in Beta vulgaris, a higher plant, and in Gliocladium virens, a filamentous fungus. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 184:254–259CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Hopper JL, Parker DR (1999) Plant availability of selenite and selenate as influenced by the competing ions phosphate and sulfate. Plant Soil 210:199–207CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kahakachchi C, Boakye HT, Uden PC, Tyson JF (2004) Chromatographic speciation of anionic and neutral selenium compounds in Se-accumulating Brassica juncea (Indian mustard) and in selenized yeast. J Chromatogr A 1054:303–312CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Kopsell DA, Randle WM (1997) Selenate concentration affects selenium and sulfur uptake and accumulation by ‘Granex 33’ onions. J Amer Soc Hort Sci 122:721–726Google Scholar
  24. Kumpulainen J, Raittila AM, Lehto J, Koivistoinen P (1983) Electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometric determination of selenium in foods and diets. J Assoc Off Anal Chem 66:1129–1135PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Novoselov S, Rao M, Onoshko N, Zhi H, Kryukov G, Xiang Y, Weeks D, Hatfield D, Gladyshev V (2002) Selenoproteins and selenocysteine insertion system in the model plant cell system, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. EMBO J 21:3681–3693CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Ortman K, Pehrson B (1999) Effect of selenate as a feed supplement to dairy cows in comparison to selenite and selenium yeast. J Anim Sci 77:3365–3370PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Pehrson B, Ortman K, Madjid N, Trafikowska U (1999) The influence of dietary selenium as selenium yeast or sodium selenite on the concentration of selenium in the milk of suckler cows and on the selenium status of their calves. J Anim Sci 77:3371–3376PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Rao M, Carlson B, Novoselov S, Weeks D, Gladyshev V, Hatfield D (2003) Chlamydomonas reinhardtii selenocysteine tRNA[Ser]Sec. RNA 9:923–930CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Rotruck JT, Pope AL, Ganther HE, Swanson AB, Hafeman DG, Hoekstra WG (1973) Selenium: biochemical role as a component of glutathione peroxidase. Science 179:588–590PubMedADSGoogle Scholar
  30. Sabeh F, Wright T, Norton SJ (1993) Purification and characterization of a glutathione peroxidase from Aloe vera plant. Enzyme Prot 47:92–98Google Scholar
  31. Sadzawka A, Grez R, Carrasco MA, Mora ML (2004) Métodos de Análisis de Tejidos Vegetales. Comisión de Normalización y Acreditación (CNA). Sociedad Chilena de la Ciencia del Suelo, Chile, p 53Google Scholar
  32. Sambrook J, Russell D (2001) Commonly used techniques in molecular cloning. In: Molecular cloning. A laboratory manual, 3rd edn. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, Cold Spring Harbor, New York, pp A8.40–A8.47Google Scholar
  33. Stadtman TC (1991) Biosynthesis and function of selenocysteine-containing enzymes. J Biol Chem 266:16257–16260PubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Takeda T, Nakano Y, Shigeoka S (1993) Effects of selenite, CO2 and illumination on the induction of selenium-dependent glutathione peroxidase in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Plant Sci 94:81–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Terry N, Zayed AM, de Souza MP, Tarun AS (2000) Selenium in higher plants. Annu Rev Plant Physiol Plant Mol Biol 51:401–432CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Wittwer F, Araneda P, Ceballos A, Contreras P, Andaur M, Böhmwald H (2002) Actividad de glutatión peroxidasa (GSH-Px) en sangre de bovinos a pastoreo de la IX Región, Chile y su relación con la concentración de selenio en el forraje. Arch Med Vet 34:49–57CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Yläranta T (1990) Effects of liming and the addition of sulphate and phosphate on the selenium content of Italian rye grass. Ann Agr Fenn 29:141–149Google Scholar
  38. Yläranta T (1991) Effects of the addition of sulphate and phosphate on the leaching of selenite and selenate in acidic soils. Ann Agr Fenn 30:311–319Google Scholar
  39. Yokota A, Shigeoka S, Onishi T, Kitaoka S (1988) Selenium as inducer of glutathione peroxidase in low-CO2-grown Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Plant Physiol 86:649–651PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Zayed AM, Terry N (1992) Selenium volatilization in broccoli as influenced by sulfate supply. J Plant Physiol 140:646–652Google Scholar
  41. Zayed A, Lytle CM, Terry N (1998) Accumulation and volatilization of different chemical species of selenium by plants. Planta 206:284–292CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Zhang P, Sparks DL (1990a) Kinetics of selenate and selenite adsorption/desorption at the goethite/water interface. Environ Sci Technol 24:1848–1856CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Zhang P, Sparks DL (1990b) Kinetics and mechanisms of sulfate adsorption/desorption on goethite using pressure-jump relaxation. Soil Sci Soc Am J 54:1266–1273CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paula Cartes
    • 1
  • Carolina Shene
    • 2
  • María Luz Mora
    • 3
  1. 1.Instituto de AgroindustriaUniversidad de La FronteraTemucoChile
  2. 2.Facultad de Ingeniería, Ciencias y AdministraciónUniversidad de La FronteraTemucoChile
  3. 3.Departamento de Ciencias QuímicasUniversidad de La FronteraTemucoChile

Personalised recommendations