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Plant and Soil

, Volume 225, Issue 1–2, pp 193–200 | Cite as

Selenium as an anti-oxidant and pro-oxidant in ryegrass

  • Helinä Hartikainen
  • Tailin Xue
  • Vieno Piironen
Article

Abstract

Selenium is an essential element for antioxidation reactions in human and animals. In order to study its biological role in higher plants, ryegrass (Lolium perenne) was cultivated in a soil without Se or amended with increasing dosages of H2SeO4 (0.1, 1.0, 10.0 and 30.0 mg Se kg−1). Ryegrass was harvested twice and the yields were analyzed for antioxidative systems and growth parameters. Selenium exerted dual effects: At low concentrations it acted as an antioxidant, inhibiting lipid peroxidation, whereas at higher concentrations, it was a pro-oxidant, enhancing the accumulation of lipid peroxidation products. The antioxidative effect was associated with an increase in glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activity, but not with superoxide dismutase (SOD) and αα-tocopherol, which was the only tocopherol detected. In the second yield, the diminished lipid peroxidation due to a proper Se addition coincided with promoted plant growth. The oxidative stress found at the Se addition level ≥ 10 mg kg−1 resulted in drastic yield losses. This result indicates that the toxicity of Se can be attributed, in addition to metabolic disturbances, to its pro-oxidative effects. Neither the growth-promoting nor the toxic effect of Se could be explained by the changes in the total chlorophyll concentration.

anti-oxidant GSH-Px pro-oxidant ryegrass selenium SOD tocopherol 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helinä Hartikainen
    • 1
  • Tailin Xue
    • 2
  • Vieno Piironen
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Applied Chemistry and MicrobiologyUniversity of HelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.Institute of GeographyChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Department of Applied Chemistry and MicrobiologyUniversity of HelsinkiFinland

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