Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 147, Issue 1–3, pp 320–328 | Cite as

The Influence of Selenium on Root Growth and Oxidative Stress Induced by Lead in Vicia faba L. minor Plants

  • Magdalena Mroczek-Zdyrska
  • Małgorzata Wójcik


The effect of selenium (Se) on Vicia faba L. minor roots subjected to lead (Pb) stress was studied by investigating root growth, root viability, and antioxidant enzyme activity. The experiments were carried out on plants grown for 2 weeks on Hoagland medium supplied with 50 μM Pb in the form of lead nitrate Pb(NO3)2 and/or Se concentrations of 1.5 and 6 μM in the form of sodium selenite Na2SeO3. It was shown that Pb reduced the root growth and caused serious damage in the roots, which was accompanied by metal accumulation in these tissues. The exposition of roots to Pb led to significant changes in the biochemical parameters: the MDA and T-SH content and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activity increased but the guaiacol peroxidase (GPOX) activity decreased. Moreover, Pb intensified O 2 ●− production in the roots. Selenium at a lower concentration alleviated Pb toxicity which was accompanied by a decreased O 2 ●− production in the apical parts of roots and increased the T-SH content and GPOX activity. However, higher Se concentration intensified MDA and T-SH accumulation and GPOX and GSH-Px activity in Pb-treated plant roots. At low concentration, Se improved cell viability whereas at high concentration it was pro-oxidant and enhanced the lipid peroxidation and cell membrane injury.


Antioxidant enzymes Lead Oxidative stress Selenium Vicia faba L. 







5,5′-Dithiobis(2-nitrobenzoic acid)


Fluorescein diacetate


Guaiacol peroxidase


Glutathione reductase


Reduced glutathione


Glutathione peroxidase




Propidium iodide


Sulfosalicylic acid


Thiobarbituric acid


Trichloroacetic acid


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Magdalena Mroczek-Zdyrska
    • 1
  • Małgorzata Wójcik
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Cell BiologyMaria Curie-Skłodowska UniversityLublinPoland
  2. 2.Department of Plant PhysiologyMaria Curie-Skłodowska UniversityLublinPoland

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