Selenium biofortification of vegetables with irrigation water

Selenium biofortification of vegetables with irrigation water

Additional selenium intake is recommended to prevent certain human diseases in selenium deficient areas. One possibility to compensate for low Se intake is to produce Se-enriched functional foods, a process known as biofortification. Selenium deficiency is common in several countries of the world, including Hungary, however, excessive intake of selenium should be avoided.

In a greenhouse experiment, the effect of irrigation water containing 0, 100 or 500 μg L-1 Se (in the form of Na2SeO4) was examined on green beans, cabbage, potatoes and tomatoes in sand, sandy silt and silt soils.

As a result of Se treatment, the chlorophyll content was significantly higher in potatoes on sand and silty sand and in tomatoes on silty sand and silt soils. The Se content of edible plant parts increased 63-fold in the 100 μg L-1 Se treatment and nearly 400-fold in the 500 μg L-1 Se treatment in the average of the four vegetables and the three soils. Irrigation water with 100 μg L-1 Se may be suitable for the production of functional foods for green beans, potatoes and tomatoes, however, due to its more intensive Se accumulation, irrigation of cabbage is recommended with a lower Se concentration. The use of Se-enriched irrigation water might be a suitable method for Se biofortification without a significant reduction in plant biomass production and without a remarkable modification of other macro- and microelement contents.

The results were published in the Q1 journal Plants:

Ragályi, P.; Takács, T.; Füzy, A.; Uzinger, N.; Dobosy, P.; Záray, G.; Szűcs-Vásárhelyi, N.; Rékási, M. Effect of Se-Enriched Irrigation Wateron the Biomass Production and Elemental Composition of Green Bean, Cabbage, Potato and Tomato. Plants 2021, 10, 2086. https://

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