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Analytic Fingerprints of Se-Stimulated Cabbage Biofortification †

Ștefan-Ovidiu Dima
Diana Constantinescu-Aruxandei
Naomi Tritean
Marius Ghiurea
Cristian-Andi Nicolae
Constantin Neamțu
1 and
Florin Oancea
INCDCP-ICECHIM Bucharest, 202 Splaiul Independentei, 6th District, 060021 Bucharest, Romania
Faculty of Biology, University of Bucharest, 91-95 SplaiulIndependentei, 5th District, 050095 Bucharest, Romania
Faculty of Biotechnologies, University of Agronomic Sciences and Veterinary Medicine of Bucharest, 59 Bd. Mărăști, 1st District, 011464 Bucharest, Romania
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Presented at the 19th International Symposium “Priorities of Chemistry for a Sustainable Development”, Bucharest, Romania, 11–13 October 2023.
Proceedings 2023, 90(1), 41;
Published: 22 December 2023


A selenium–vinasse plant biostimulant was foliar-sprayed on white cabbage cultivated in a drought area, and various analytic methods were applied on the control and treated cultivars in order to investigate particular analytic fingerprints relevant for cabbage cell wall development and plant biofortification. IR spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, fiber content and thermogravimetry evidenced specific fingerprints regarding cabbage cell wall composition in pectin and Iα-cellulose, soluble and insoluble fibers, volatiles and mineral content, together with a faster molecular metabolism toward pectin and Iα-cellulose accumulation and increased biofortification with minerals.

1. Introduction

Plants have been evolving since 3.7 billion years ago in a continuous optimization of biosynthesis mechanisms and adaptation to environmental conditions. Plant physiology studies developed exponentially in the last century, together with the global technologyaiming toward molecular and bionanotechnology usage for a better understanding of the green world [1]. This study aims to highlight and discuss particular aspects of the biostimulant effects of the selenium–betaine nanoformulation (Se-BNF) on cabbage growthunder drought conditions [2], concentrating on particular physical-chemical fingerprints of the plant cell wall response to foliar fertilization.

2. Materials and Methods

Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermogravimetry (TGA) and fiber content were used to compare the inner and outer leaves of the Se-biostimulant-treated cabbage cultivars, working with previously detailed methods [2].

3. Results and Discussions

FTIR analyses presented in Figure 1a evidenced the particular absorption bands of cellulose Iα, pectin and lignin thatwerefurther found to be convoluted in the cabbage spectrum. The free -OH bands around 3740 cm−1 were reduced in the cultivars treated with Se-BNF, while the bound -OH band around 3300 cm−1 increased, suggesting a tighter-packed, or biofortified, molecular structure via the chelation of Se, minerals, glycine-betaine and other biocompounds. Secondly, the intense C-H bands around 2918 and 2852 cm−1 for Se-BNF−treated cultivars may indicate the development of aliphatic (seleno)glucosinolates and lipids. A third FTIR fingerprint is linked to the pectin bands around 1738 cm−1 and 1612 cm−1, specific for esterified respectively unesterified carboxyl groups, the ratio inversion after Se-BNF treatments suggesting a stabilization of pectins in an unesterified form. The fourth FTIR fingerprint is the absorption region of carbohydrates around 1030 ± 100 cm−1, which suggests the development of polysaccharides, especially cellulose Iα, as confirmed viaXRD in Figure 1b.
The TGA and derivative DTG curves presented in Figure 1c suggest splittingwithin the temperature range of 25–525 °C into seven specific thermo-regions with two additional regions for N2 and air residues. The corresponding weight losses evidenced that the foliar Sebiostimulant induced an accelerated biomass accumulation in the pectin and cellulose thermo-regions, together with an increased mineral content in the ash.

4. Conclusions

The applied analytical methods evidenced the cellulose Iα-pectin structure of cabbage, together with lignin as a molecular and structural binder. FTIR evidenced more hydrogen bridges than free OH and a low esterification of pectins induced by the Sebiostimulant. All techniques suggested the accumulation of carbohydrates incell walls upon Se-BNF treatment.

Author Contributions

Conceptualization, F.O. and Ș.-O.D.; methodology, F.O., Ș.-O.D. and D.C.-A.; validation, Ș.-O.D., N.T., M.G. and C.-A.N.; formal analysis, Ș.-O.D. and N.T.; investigation, Ș.-O.D., D.C.-A., N.T., M.G., C.-A.N. and C.N.; resources, F.O., D.C.-A. and C.N.; data curation, Ș.-O.D. and D.C.-A.; writing—original draft preparation, Ș.-O.D.; writing—review and editing, Ș.-O.D., D.C.-A. and F.O.; visualization, Ș.-O.D., D.C.-A. and F.O.; supervision, F.O.; project administration, F.O., D.C.-A. and C.N.; funding acquisition, F.O., D.C.-A. and C.N. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.


This work was carried out via the PN 23.06 Core Program—ChemNewDeal within the National Plan for Research, Development and Innovation 2022–2027, developed with the support of the Ministry of Research, Innovation, and Digitization, project no. PN InteGral and PN-III-P2-2.1-PTE-2016-0023, 2PTE -LegoFert, funded by UEFISCDI-CCDI.

Institutional Review Board Statement

Not applicable.

Informed Consent Statement

Not applicable.

Data Availability Statement

Data available upon request.


The XRD diffractometer was purchased with the support of the POS-CCE “Agri-Flux”, project no. 645/18.03.2014, SMIS-CSNR 48695.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


  1. Vaahtera, L.; Schulz, J.; Hamann, T. Cell wall integrity maintenance during plant development and interaction with the environment. Nat. Plants 2019, 5, 924–932. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  2. Dima, Ș.O.; Constantinescu-Aruxandei, D.; Tritean, N.; Ghiurea, M.; Capră, L.; Nicolae, C.A.; Faraon, V.; Neamțu, C.; Oancea, F. Spectroscopic Analyses Highlight Plant Biostimulant Effects of Baker’s Yeast Vinasse and Selenium on Cabbage through Foliar Fertilization. Plants 2023, 12, 32. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Figure 1. Analytic fingerprints: (a) FTIR spectra of cellulose Iα-rich bacterial nanocellulose (BNC), cabbage treated with dose D1i (CD1i), commercial pectin (PCT) and lignin (LGN); (b) XRD analyses of CD1i, extracted pectin (PctEx), cellulose (CelEx) and lignin (LgnEx); (c) TGA and DTG analyses of CD1i, PCT, BNC and LGN.
Figure 1. Analytic fingerprints: (a) FTIR spectra of cellulose Iα-rich bacterial nanocellulose (BNC), cabbage treated with dose D1i (CD1i), commercial pectin (PCT) and lignin (LGN); (b) XRD analyses of CD1i, extracted pectin (PctEx), cellulose (CelEx) and lignin (LgnEx); (c) TGA and DTG analyses of CD1i, PCT, BNC and LGN.
Proceedings 90 00041 g001
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MDPI and ACS Style

Dima, Ș.-O.; Constantinescu-Aruxandei, D.; Tritean, N.; Ghiurea, M.; Nicolae, C.-A.; Neamțu, C.; Oancea, F. Analytic Fingerprints of Se-Stimulated Cabbage Biofortification. Proceedings 2023, 90, 41.

AMA Style

Dima Ș-O, Constantinescu-Aruxandei D, Tritean N, Ghiurea M, Nicolae C-A, Neamțu C, Oancea F. Analytic Fingerprints of Se-Stimulated Cabbage Biofortification. Proceedings. 2023; 90(1):41.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Dima, Ștefan-Ovidiu, Diana Constantinescu-Aruxandei, Naomi Tritean, Marius Ghiurea, Cristian-Andi Nicolae, Constantin Neamțu, and Florin Oancea. 2023. "Analytic Fingerprints of Se-Stimulated Cabbage Biofortification" Proceedings 90, no. 1: 41.

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