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Selenium: A Game Changer in Plant Development, Growth, and Stress Tolerance, via the Modulation in Gene Expression and Secondary Metabolite Biosynthesis

Ali Bandehagh1,*, Zahra Dehghanian2, Vahideh Gougerdchi1, Mohammad Anwar Hossain3,*

1 Department of Plant Breeding and Biotechnology, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, 51368, Iran
2 Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Agriculture, Azarbaijan Shahid Madani University, Tabriz, 51368, Iran
3 Department of Genetics and Plant Breeding, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh, 2202, Bangladesh

* Corresponding Authors: Ali Bandehagh. Email: email; Mohammad Anwar Hossain. Email: email

(This article belongs to this Special Issue: Selenium, Silicon and their Nanoparticles-mediated Environmental Stress Tolerance in Crop Plants)

Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany 2023, 92(8), 2301-2324.


The presence of selenium (Se) is not widely established as crucial for crops, although it is commonly recognized as an important nutrient for animals as well as humans. Even so, it is inevitably accepted that Se usually contributes positively to the life cycle of plants. Previous findings suggested that small amounts of Se seem to have a productive role in growth and production. As a result, Se is assumed to function in multiple ways, primarily by influencing a variety of biochemical and physiological functions. Also, Se also acts as a plant antioxidant and pro-oxidant and confers tolerance against different abiotic stresses, including salinity, drought, extreme temperature, and toxic metals/metalloids stresses. It reflects a defensive barrier against stress by increasing chlorophyll content synthesis, photosynthesis, oxygen supply, osmoprotectant concentration, and secondary metabolite acquisition. One other crucial role of Se is its ability to strengthen antioxidant performance in plants, thereby decreasing the concentration of reactive-oxygen-species (ROS). Furthermore, Se generates and modifies genes and proteins that respond situationally to stress, and the presence of high Se concentrations in the growth-medium can cause phytotoxic conditions via excessive ROS production, and through pro-oxidative Se occurrence, suppression of chlorophyll contents in the biosynthetic pathway, and the inhibition of plant developmental and normal physiological functions. Like a phytofortifier, the correct amount of Se can indeed enhance the nutrient quality of both crop and fodder production. Furthermore, crops have naturally developed ways to combat Se-deficiency and Se-toxicity. The current review focuses on recent advances in understanding the dynamics of Se, the positive and negative roles of Se in crop management, and its efficiency in countering abiotic stress.


Cite This Article

Bandehagh, A., Dehghanian, Z., Gougerdchi, V., Hossain, M. A. (2023). Selenium: A Game Changer in Plant Development, Growth, and Stress Tolerance, via the Modulation in Gene Expression and Secondary Metabolite Biosynthesis. Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany, 92(8), 2301–2324.

cc This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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