Special Issue "Natural and Anthropogenic Origin Selenium in the Context of Plants"

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Response to Abiotic Stress and Climate Change".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 July 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Eva Domokos-Szabolcsy
Guest Editor
Agricultural Botany, Plant Physiology and Biotechnology Department, University of Debrecen, Debrecen, Hungary, H-4032 Boszormenyi street 138 52-508-444/88486
Interests: plant biology; selenium; crop fortifiation; phytoremediaton; green biomass utilization; green protein production
Dr. Tarek Alshaal
Website SciProfiles
Guest Editor
(Temporary) Agricultural Botany, Plant Physiology and Biotechnology Department, University of Debrecen, Debrecen, Hungary
(Permentant) Soil and Water Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Kafrelsheikh University, Kafr El-Sheikh, Egypt
Interests: soil fertility; plant nutrition; nanoparticles; selenium; silica; osmoregulators; soil health; phytoremediation; abiotic stresses; green biorefinery; fortification

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Selenium is essential for humans. There is growing evidence that the adequate quantity and quality of selenium supply supports the cognitive and immune function; it also reduces susceptibility to infections, including virus infections and cancer. Considering today’s serious coronavirus pandemic, the importance of selenium can be further appreciated. Plants have a special position in selenium chemistry. Although the Se essentiality to higher plants is still under argument, several plants can uptake different inorganic Se forms and convert more bioavailable organic forms. Therefore, selenium fortification by conventional crop breeding or genetic engineering as well as agronomical tools in an open or closed system can be beneficial not only for humans or farm animals but also for plants themselves.

This Special Issue of Plants will cover the plants–selenium context illuminated from several aspects. Selenium-induced alterations in phytochemical composition of plants, molecular mechanisms of plant biological changes responding to selenium eustress or distress, antagonism between Se and other nutrients in growth media, Se speciation with different plant tissues, and transformation of different Se forms in soil via soil biota will be investigated. Additionally, the Special Issue invites submissions on topics related to ecological and economic aspects of crop selenium fortification and remediation.

Dr. Éva Domokos-Szabolcsy
Dr. Tarek Alshaal
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Plants is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • crops
  • selenium analytics
  • selenium deficiency
  • xenohormesis
  • physiology
  • selenium biotransformation
  • selenium fortification
  • selenium economy
  • selenium ecology

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission, see below for planned papers.

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Uptake dynamics of ionic and elemental selenium forms and their metabolism in multi harvested alfalfa (Medicago sativa)
Authors: Zoltán Kovács (1); Nevien Elhawat (1, 2),; Áron Soós (3); Béla Kovács (3); Mihály Dernovics (4); László Kaszás (1); Ottó Zsíros (5); Győző Garab (5); Miklós G. Fári (1); József Prokisch (6); Éva Domokos-Szabolcsy (1); Tarek Alshaal (1,7)
Affiliation: (1) Agricultural Botany, Plant Physiology and Biotechnology Department, University of Debrecen, Böszörményi str. 138, 4032 Debrecen, Hungary [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] (2) Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Home Economic, Al-Azhar University, Tanta 31732, Egypt; [email protected] (3) Institute of Food Science, University of Debrecen, Böszörményi str. 138, 4032 Debrecen, Hungary [email protected] [email protected] (4) Department of Plant Physiology, Agricultural Institute, Centre for Agricultural Research, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Brunszvik str. 2., 2462 Martonvásár, Hungary [email protected] (5) Institute of Plant Biology, Biological Research Centre, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, 6726, Temesvári blvd. 62. Szeged, Hungary [email protected] [email protected] (6) Institute of Animal Science, Biotechnology and Nature Conservation, University of Debrecen, Böszörményi str. 138, 4032 Debrecen, Hungary [email protected] (7) Soil and Water Science Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Kafrelsheikh University, 33516 Kafr El-Sheikh, Egypt; [email protected] * Corresponding author: Éva Domokos-Szabolcsy [email protected]
Abstract: Agronomic biofortification of selenium (Se), recently, has gained the satisfaction of animal breeders as an alternate for mineral Se supply. Applied concentration and chemical form of Se are critical factors affecting the efficiency of biofortification process especially in multi harvested forage crops such as alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.). In the present study, Se-enrichment of alfalfa was carried out comparing two ionic forms, i.e., sodium selenate and sodium selenite, and red elemental-Se (red-Se0) at different concentrations, i.e., 1, 10 and 50 mg kg-1 for ionic forms (added on Se basis), and 10 and 50 mg kg-1 for red Se0. Except the 50 mg kg-1 of selenate which was lethal to alfalfa plants all Se concentrations and forms did not exhibit any morphological and/ or physiological symptoms of Se toxicity. Regardless of Se concentration and form, treated plants showed similar values of water-soluble protein, malondialdehyde, water-soluble phenols, and peroxidase activity. Leaf tissues accumulated higher Se content than stem regardless of Se form and concentration. Se content in plant tissues follows a dose-response relationship. Moreover, Se form substantially affected the accumulation of Se in plants where selenate exhibited the highest effect followed by selenite and red Se0. The highest Se content (586 mg kg-1) was measured for 50 mg kg-1 selenite followed by 10 mg kg-1 selenate, which recorded a content of 195 mg kg-1. Selenate treatments had almost same dynamics of Se uptake where Se accumulation in plant tissues increased from 1st to 2nd harvest then started to decrease gradually in 3rd and 4th harvests. Similar tendency was reported in the selenite-treated plants. By contrast, chemically synthetized red Se0 showed a lower but continuous exploration. Strong anion-exchange (SAX) HPLC-ICP-MS was used to determine the selenium forms from the aqueous and enzymatic extracts of leaves and stems. Selenomethionine (SeMet) and selenate were the predominant organic and inorganic Se-compounds, respectively. However, SeMet showed higher proportion in the enzymatic extract. These results are important for who interested in agronomic biofortification as it highlights the most efficient Se form and concentration as well as the extended effect on the quality of the produced Se-fortified biomass.

Keywords: agronomic biofortification; alfalfa; red elemental Se; uptake dynamics; selenomethionine

Back to TopTop