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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Pullman, Washington » Grain Legume Genetics Physiology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #322125

Research Project: Genetic Improvement of Cool Season Food Legumes

Location: Grain Legume Genetics Physiology Research

Title: Selenium fertilization on lentil (Lens culinaris Medikus) grain yield, seed selenium concentration, and antioxidant activity

Author
item Ekanayake, Lukshman - North Dakota State University
item Thavarajah, Dil - Clemson University
item Vial, Eric - North Dakota State University
item Mcgee, Rebecca
item Thavarajah, Pushparajah - Consultant

Submitted to: Field Crops Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/2015
Publication Date: 6/1/2015
Citation: Ekanayake, L.J., Thavarajah, D., Vial, E., Mcgee, R.J., Thavarajah, P. 2015. Selenium fertilization on lentil (Lens culinaris Medikus) grain yield, seed selenium concentration, and antioxidant activity. Field Crops Research. 177:9-14.

Interpretive Summary: Selenium (Se) is an essential trace element for mammals however, the role of Se in plants is not clearly defined. The majority of the Se taken up by plant is in organic forms and is human bioavailable. Recent studies demonstrate that the application of Se increases plant productivity in terms of yield and can increase the stress tolerance of plants. Selenium intake in North America is well above the recommended daily allowance. However, diets in South East Asia that consists primarily of vegetables grown in low Se soils are at risk of deficiency. Worldwide, approximately 30-100 million people are Se-deficient. Enriching staple foods with Se is an effective and sustainable means of increasing Se intakes to support good general health in South East Asia. Novel, food-based approaches for increasing Se intakes are needed to support nutrition, especially in countries with limited access to nutritional supplements. Biofortification of lentils with Se constitutes such an approach. We use lentil as a model pulse crop to understand the role of Se as a plant micronutrient to increase grain yield and ultimately improve seed nutritional quality. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of Se fertilization on lentil grain yield, seed Se concentration, and antioxidant activity. Application of selenium increased lentil yields by as much as 10% and also increased the antioxidant activity of lentils.

Technical Abstract: Selenium (Se) is an essential element for mammals but has not been considered as an essential element for higher plants. Lentil (Lens culinaris Medik.) is a cool season food legume rich in protein and a range of micronutrients including minerals (iron and zinc), folates, and carotenoids. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of field application of two Se forms on lentil grain yield, seed Se concentration, and antioxidant activity. The experiment was conducted at the Carrington Research and Extension Center, ND, USA in 2012 and 2013 with five lentil genotypes and three Se treatments (control, 30 g ha-1 of selenite, and 30 g ha-1 of selenate) applied at seeding and at 50% flowering. Application of selenite and selenate increased the lentil grain yield by 10% and 4%, respectively, compared to the control. Seed Se concentration was significantly higher in lentils treated with selenate (1.4 mg kg-1) compared to selenite (0.9 mg kg-1) and the control (0.6 mg kg-1). Selenate increased the antioxidant activity (66% inhibition) of lentils compared to the selenite (64% inhibition) and control (59% inhibition). Overall, Se fertilization is beneficial in increasing lentil seed yield; however selenate will be more beneficial in increasing seed Se concentration.