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  Section: Plant Nutrition » Other Beneficial Elements » Selenium
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Selenium Enrichment of Plants

The Element Selenium
  Selenium Chemistry
Selenium in Plants
Selenium Toxicity to Plants
Selenium in the Soil
  Geological Distribution
  Selenium Availability in Soils
Selenium in Human and Animal Nutrition
  Dietary Forms
  Metabolism and Form of Selenium
Selenium and Human Health
  Selenium Deficiency and Toxicity in Humans
  Anticarcinogenic Effects of Selenium
  Importance of Selenium Methylation in Chemopreventive Activity
Selenium Enrichment of Plants
Selenium Tissue Analysis Values of Various Plant Species

Substantial genetic variation in plants has been reported for mineral (43,114,115), vitamin (116), and phytochemical content (117). Breeding plants that are enriched with mineral nutrients and vitamins could substantially reduce the recurrent costs associated with fortification (118,119). Successful programs are now in place for improving zinc (120) and iron (119) contents of wheat. Selenium fertilizer has been used in Finland on vegetable crops to increase the uptake levels of dietary Se in both humans and other animals (121). However, there is very little information on the inheritance of Se uptake and accumulation in plants. Investigation into the genetic variation for Se content in tall fescue revealed that progress from selection for selenium content is possible and that the trait was heritable (122). Narrow-sense heritability estimates for selenium accumulation in a rapid-cycling Brassica oleracea L. population were moderate (0.55), and gains from selection were 4.8 and 4.0% per selection cycle for high and low selenium accumulation, respectively (114). Knowledge of the genetic variances for selenium accumulation will be useful in selecting efficient strategies designed to enhance food crops. Further research is needed to identify the form and dosage of selenium delivered by selenium-enriched plants (92).

TABLE 18.1

Selenium Tissue Analysis Values of Various Plant Species

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