© 2017

Selenium in plants

Molecular, Physiological, Ecological and Evolutionary Aspects

  • Elizabeth A.H. Pilon-Smits
  • Lenny H.E. Winkel
  • Zhi-Qing Lin
  • igger selenium picture

  • This book will be of interest to the diverse selenium research community, managers and inhabitants of seleniferous areas, and anyone who is interested in learning about this interesting and important element

  • Relative to other books about selenium, this volume stands out in its scope. It strives to put plant selenium accumulation in the broadest possible context, including its relevance for global Se cycling, movement of Se in the food chain, and importance for human and environmental health. At the same time, the book thoroughly covers the molecular mechanisms of Se metabolism in plants, and includes succinct overviews of Se transformations in bacteria, algae and mammals, including health aspects in humans

  • Relative to other books about selenium, which often consist of a series of chapters that are not necessarily meant to complement one another, this book strives to form a coherent story, each chapter contributing a facet of the fascinating b


Part of the Plant Ecophysiology book series (KLEC, volume 11)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. Selenium Distribution, Bioavailability and Metabolism in Plants

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Zackary Guignardi, Michela Schiavon
      Pages 21-34
    3. Masanori Tamaoki, Akiko Maruyama-Nakashita
      Pages 35-51
    4. Elizabeth A. H. Pilon-Smits
      Pages 53-66
  3. Selenium Metabolism in Non-plant Organisms – Influence on Se Fluxes in Ecosystems and Relevance for Human Health

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 67-67
    2. Michela Schiavon, Francesca Dalla Vecchia
      Pages 69-77
    3. Lucian C. Staicu, Ronald S. Oremland, Ryuta Tobe, Hisaaki Mihara
      Pages 79-108
    4. Alyssa T. Cochran
      Pages 109-121
  4. Genetic, Evolutionary and Ecological Aspects of Plant Se Accumulation

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 141-141
    2. Philip J. White
      Pages 143-163
    3. Colin F. Quinn, Ali F. El Mehdawi, Elizabeth A. H. Pilon-Smits
      Pages 177-188
    4. R. Jason B. Reynolds, Jennifer J. Cappa, Elizabeth A. H. Pilon-Smits
      Pages 189-205
  5. The Societal Relevance of Se for Human and Environmental Health: Biofortification and Phytoremediation

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 207-207
    2. André Rodrigues dos Reis, Hassan El-Ramady, Elcio Ferreira Santos, Priscila Lupino Gratão, Lutz Schomburg
      Pages 209-230
    3. Gary S. Bañuelos, Zhi-Qing Lin, Martin Broadley
      Pages 231-255
    4. Michela Schiavon, Leonardo Warzea Lima, Ying Jiang, Malcolm J. Hawkesford
      Pages 257-275

About this book


This book focuses on selenium (Se) metabolism in plants. It not only covers plant genetic, biochemical and physiological processes but places these in the context of Se movement in the food chain and the global environment, as well as discusses ecological and evolutionary significance. While Se is an essential micronutrient, it is toxic at high levels, and there is a narrow window between Se adequacy and toxicity. More than a billion people and their livestock in low-Se regions have been estimated to be affected by Se deficiency, which compromises the immune system, thyroid activity, male fertility and mental function. In high-Se areas, Se toxicity is a problem. Selenium-accumulating plants may be used to alleviate Se deficiency in consumers (biofortification), or to remove environmental Se pollution (phytoremediation), both covered extensively in this volume. Plant species genetically vary in Se uptake, metabolism and tolerance. Some plants native to seleniferous soils can even hyperaccumulate Se up to 1.5% of their dry weight. The book reviews the latest knowledge about the processes involved in Se uptake, metabolism, tolerance and (hyper)accumulation, as well as successful approaches to optimize Se accumulation and speciation via classical crop breeding and genetic engineering. Global processes that control Se distribution and movement are reviewed, as are associated deficiency and toxicity issues. Relevant for Se bioavailability and for Se movement in the food chain, Se metabolism is also reviewed in prokaryotes and in mammalian consumers, and the nutritional benefits of plant Se on consumers are discussed. The reader will learn about the profound ecological effects of plant Se on interactions with herbivores, pollinators, microbes and other plants, and the likely selection pressures that drive the evolution of Se hyperaccumulation.


selenium plant ecophysiology human health environmental health plant biochemistry Plant nutrition Metabolism

Editors and affiliations

  • Elizabeth A.H. Pilon-Smits
    • 1
  • Lenny H.E. Winkel
    • 2
  • Zhi-Qing Lin
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of BiologyColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA
  2. 2.Institute of Biogeochemistry and Pollutant DynamicsETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  3. 3.Environmental Sciences Program and Department of Biological SciencesSouthern Illinois University EdwardsvilleEdwardsvilleUSA

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Selenium in plants
  • Book Subtitle Molecular, Physiological, Ecological and Evolutionary Aspects
  • Editors Elizabeth A.H. Pilon-Smits
    Lenny H.E. Winkel
    Zhi-Qing Lin
  • Series Title Plant Ecophysiology
  • Series Abbreviated Title Plant Ecophysiology
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing AG 2017
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Biomedical and Life Sciences Biomedical and Life Sciences (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-56248-3
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-85865-4
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-56249-0
  • Series ISSN 1572-5561
  • Series E-ISSN 2405-4321
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XVI, 324
  • Number of Illustrations 32 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Plant Ecology
    Plant Physiology
    Plant Biochemistry
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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