Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 1303–1310 | Cite as

Effects of selenium on antioxidant enzymes and photosynthesis in the edible seaweed Gracilaria lemaneiformis

  • Qing Wang
  • Ya Zuo
  • Tianfeng Chen
  • Wenjie Zheng
  • Yufeng YangEmail author


Gracilaria is the second most productive genus of mariculture seaweeds after Laminaria in China. It is important to increase its economic value. The purpose of this study was to document the accumulation and biotransformation of selenium in Gracilaria lemaneiformis. The seaweed was cultured for 12 days in medium containing from 0 to 2000 mg L−1 selenite. At concentrations lower than 750 mg L−1, seaweed growth was promoted and the amount of chlorophyll a decreased. The organic Se content in the seaweed was over 80% in all groups and was as much as 400 μg g−1 of dry weight. Se enrichment induced a decrease in the activities of superoxide dismutase in the seaweed cells. These results suggest that G. lemaneiformis is tolerant to Se and prevents phytotoxicity by altering various metabolic processes. Furthermore, this seaweed exhibits great potential to transform inorganic Se into the organic form and therefore could be a safe candidate for the production of Se-enriched functional food.


Seaweed Gracilaria Rhodophyta Selenium Accumulation Biotransfromation 



The authors would like to thank Prof. Larry Liddle (Long Island University, USA) and Dr. David Montagnes (the University of Liverpool, UK) for their help to revise this manuscript.

Funding information

This work was supported by the Chinese Special Fund for Agro-scientific Research in the Public Interest (201403008) and Nature Science Foundation of China (41503072, U1301235).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interests

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qing Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ya Zuo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Tianfeng Chen
    • 3
  • Wenjie Zheng
    • 3
  • Yufeng Yang
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of HydrobiologyJinan UniversityGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Aquatic Eutrophication and Control of Harmful Algal BloomsGuangdong Higher Education InstitutesGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of ChemistryJinan UniversityGuangzhouChina

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