Plant and Soil

, Volume 329, Issue 1–2, pp 457–468 | Cite as

Effect of selenium on macro- and microelement distribution and physiological parameters of rape and wheat seedlings exposed to cadmium stress

  • Maria ZembalaEmail author
  • Maria Filek
  • Stanisław Walas
  • Halina Mrowiec
  • Andrzej Kornaś
  • Zbigniew Miszalski
  • Helinä Hartikainen
Regular Article


Cadmium (Cd) exerts a detrimental effect on the metabolism of plants, whereas selenium (Se) may protect them against various stressors through its antioxidative activity. In this in vitro study we investigated the impact of Se (2 µM Na2SeO4) on the growth, nutrient (P, S, K, Ca, Mg, B, Mn, Fe and Zn) concentrations and cell integrity of rape (Brassica napus oleifera) and two wheat (Triticum aestivum) genotypes subjected to Cd stress (600 µM CdCl2). Rape accumulated both Cd and Se more than did wheat. In all plants, Cd markedly reduced the biomass, enhanced lipid peroxidation and diminished plasmalemma fluidity. A drop in the K uptake and the reduced plasmalemma permeability diminished the K efflux from the leaf cells. In contrast, Cd elevated S concomitantly with Zn, indicating an activity of detoxifying SH groups and SOD isoenzymes. When added alone, Se promoted the growth of all plants, it enhanced the accumulation of S, but the impact on other nutrients remained minor. In Cd-stressed plants, Se tended to counterbalance the Cd-induced changes in nutrients, it also reduced the lipid peroxidation and exerted positive effects on the cell membrane stability. The Cd stress and the protective role of Se were most evident in rape. The Finnish wheat genotype was less tolerant to Cd than the Polish one.


Cadmium Selenium Macro- and microelements Membrane permeability Rape Wheat 



This work was partly supported by the MEiN grant No. 1 T09A 122 30.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Zembala
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Maria Filek
    • 2
    • 3
  • Stanisław Walas
    • 4
  • Halina Mrowiec
    • 4
  • Andrzej Kornaś
    • 2
  • Zbigniew Miszalski
    • 2
    • 3
  • Helinä Hartikainen
    • 5
  1. 1.Institute of Catalysis and Surface ChemistryPolish Academy of SciencesKrakówPoland
  2. 2.Institute of BiologyPedagogical University of CracowKrakówPoland
  3. 3.Institute of Plant PhysiologyPolish Academy of SciencesKrakówPoland
  4. 4.Department of ChemistryJagiellonian UniversityKrakówPoland
  5. 5.Department of Applied Chemistry and MicrobiologyUniversity of HelsinkiHesinkiFinland

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