, Volume 255, Issue 2, pp 459–469 | Cite as

Selenium mitigates cadmium-induced oxidative stress in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) plants by modulating chlorophyll fluorescence, osmolyte accumulation, and antioxidant system

  • Mohammed Nasser Alyemeni
  • Mohammad Abass Ahanger
  • Leonard Wijaya
  • Pravej Alam
  • Renu Bhardwaj
  • Parvaiz Ahmad
Original Article


Pot experiments were conducted to investigate the role of selenium in alleviating cadmium stress in Solanum lycopersicum seedlings. Cadmium (150 mg L−1) treatment caused a significant reduction in growth in terms of height and biomass accumulation and affected chlorophyll pigments, gas exchange parameters, and chlorophyll fluorescence. Selenium (10 μM) application mitigated the adverse effects of cadmium on growth, chlorophyll and carotenoid contents, leaf relative water content, and other physiological attributes. Lipid peroxidation and electrolyte leakage increased because of cadmium treatment and selenium-treated plants exhibited considerable reduction because of the decreased production of hydrogen peroxide in them. Cadmium-treated plants exhibited enhanced activity of antioxidant enzymes that protected cellular structures by neutralizing reactive free radicals. Supplementation of selenium to cadmium-treated plants (Cd + Se) further enhanced the activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), ascorbate peroxidase (APX), and glutathione reductase (GR) by 19.69, 31.68, 33.14, and 54.47%, respectively. Osmolytes, including proline and glycine betaine, increased with selenium application, illustrating their role in improving the osmotic stability of S. lycopersicum under cadmium stress. More importantly, selenium application significantly reduced cadmium uptake. From these results, it is clear that application of selenium alleviates the negative effects of cadmium stress in S. lycopersicum through the modifications of osmolytes and antioxidant enzymes.


Solanum lycopersicum Cadmium Growth Chlorophyll fluorescence Proline Lipid peroxidation Antioxidants Selenium 



The authors would like to extend their sincere appreciation to the Deanship of Scientific Research at King Saud University for its funding this Research group NO (RG1438-039).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohammed Nasser Alyemeni
    • 1
  • Mohammad Abass Ahanger
    • 2
  • Leonard Wijaya
    • 1
  • Pravej Alam
    • 3
  • Renu Bhardwaj
    • 4
  • Parvaiz Ahmad
    • 1
    • 5
  1. 1.Botany and Microbiology Department, College of ScienceKing Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.School of Studies in Botany Jiwaji UniversityGwaliorIndia
  3. 3.Biology Department, College of Science and HumanitiesPrince Sattam bin Abdulaziz University (PSAU)AlkharjKingdom of Saudi Arabia
  4. 4.Department of Botanical and Environmental SciencesGuru Nanak Dev UniversityAmritsarIndia
  5. 5.Department of BotanyS.P. CollegeSrinagarIndia

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