Current Microbiology

, Volume 69, Issue 2, pp 192–201 | Cite as

Inhibitory Effect of Selenium Against Penicillium expansum and Its Possible Mechanisms of Action

  • Zhi-lin Wu
  • Xue-bin Yin
  • Zhi-qing Lin
  • Gary S. Bañuelos
  • Lin-xi Yuan
  • Ying LiuEmail author
  • Miao LiEmail author


Some organic and inorganic salts could inhibit the growth of many pathogens. Selenium (Se), as an essential micronutrient, was effective in improving the plant resistance and antioxidant capacity at a low concentration. Penicillium expansum is one of the most important postharvest fungal pathogens, which can cause blue mold rot in various fruits and vegetables. In this study, the inhibitory effect of Se against P. expansum was evaluated. The result showed that Se strongly inhibited spore germination, germ tube elongation, and mycelial spread of P. expansum in the culture medium. The inhibitory effect was positively related to the concentration of Se used. Fluorescence microscopy observation of P. expansum conidia stained with propidium iodide (PI) indicated that the membrane integrity decreased to 37 % after the conidia were treated with Se (20 mg/l) for 9 h. With the use of an oxidant-sensitive probe 2,7-dichlorofluorescin (DCHF-DA), we found that Se at 15 mg/l could induce the generation of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS). Furthermore, methane dicarboxylic aldehyde (MDA) content, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), and superoxide anion (O2 ) production rate in P. expansum spores exposed to Se increased markedly. Compared with the control, the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and the content of glutathione (GSH) were reduced, confirming that damage of Se to cellular oxygen-eliminating system is the main reason. These results suggest that Se might serve as a potential alternative to synthetic fungicides for the control of the postharvest disease of fruit and vegetables caused by P. expansum.


Spore Germination Sodium Selenite Patulin Seborrheic Dermatitis Postharvest Disease 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors wish to thank Drs. T.F Lai and X.Q Shi who comes from Key Laboratory of Plant Resources in North China, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences for his useful comments and suggestions on the language and structure of our manuscript. This work was partially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (50949038), the Natural Science Foundation of Anhui province (1408085MC68), Natural Science Youth Foundation of Jiangsu Province for Youth of China (BK 2012195, BK 2012202), and China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (20100470108).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Agri-Food Safety of Anhui Province, School of Plant ProtectionAnhui Agricultural UniversityHefeiChina
  2. 2.Advanced Lab for Selenium and Human Health, Suzhou Institute for Advanced StudyUniversity of Science and Technology of ChinaSuzhouChina
  3. 3.Environmental Sciences Program & Department of Biological Sciences, College of Arts and SciencesSouthern Illinois University EdwardsvilleEdwardsvilleUSA
  4. 4.Agricultural Research ServiceUnited States Department of AgricultureParlierUSA

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