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

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


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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.


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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

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