, Volume 329, Issue 1-2, pp 339-348
Date: 24 Sep 2009

Comparative effects of selenate and selenite on growth and biochemical composition of rapeseed (Brassica napus L.)

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High levels of selenium can cause adverse effects in plants as well as animals. In a greenhouse experiment, rapeseed (Brassica napus) was grown in an alkaline sandy loam soil treated with different levels of selenate-Se and selenite-Se ranging from 0 to 4 mg kg−1. Total dry matter yield of selenium-treated rapeseed plants decreased significantly as compared to control plants. Plants were stressed at a very early stage of vegetative growth and produced fewer rosettes and flowers. Plant height and leaf production were negatively affected by selenate-Se. Dry matter of leaves was significantly higher in selenite- than in selenate-treated plants. Selenate-treated plants accumulated 75–160 times more Se in shoots and 2–18 times more in roots as compared to selenite-treated plants at the rosette formation stage, with this difference narrowing at peak flowering stage. Rapeseed leaves were subjected to biochemical analysis at rosette and peak flowering stages. Accumulation of selenium in leaves resulted in a significant increase in lipid peroxidation, chlorophyll, vitamin C and free amino acids, and a decrease in phenols, total soluble sugars and starch concentration.

Responsible Editor: Peter Christie.