Comparison of Selenium Toxicity in Sunflower and Maize Seedlings Grown in Hydroponic Cultures

Farzaneh Garousi, Szilvia Veres, Béla Kovács

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)


Several studies have demonstrated that selenium (Se) at low concentrations is beneficial, whereas high Se concentrations can induce toxicity. Controlling Se uptake, metabolism, translocation and accumulation in plants is important to decrease potential health risks and helping to select proper biofortification methods to improve the nutritional content of plant-based foods. The uptake and distribution of Se, changes in Se content, and effects of various concentrations of Se in two forms (sodium selenite and sodium selenate) on sunflower and maize plants were measured in nutrient solution experiments. Results revealed the Se content in shoots and roots of both sunflower and maize plants significantly increased as the Se level increased. In this study, the highest exposure concentrations (30 and 90 mg/L, respectively) caused toxicity in both sunflower and maize. While both Se forms damaged and inhibited plant growth, each behaved differently, as toxicity due to selenite was observed more than in the selenate treatments. Sunflower demonstrated a high Se accumulation capacity, with higher translocation of selenate from roots to shoots compared with selenite. Since in seleniferous soils, a high change in plants’ capability exists to uptake Se from these soils and also most of the cultivated crop plants have a bit tolerance to high Se levels, distinction of plants with different Se tolerance is important. This study has tried to discuss about it.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)709-713
Number of pages5
JournalBulletin of environmental contamination and toxicology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2016


  • Accumulation
  • Root
  • Selenate
  • Selenite
  • Shoot

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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