Journal Title: Frontiers in Plant Science
ISSN: 1664-462X (Online)
Publisher: Frontiers Media S.A.
LCC Subject Category: Agriculture: Plant culture
Country of publisher: Switzerland
Language of fulltext: English
Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML, ePUB, XML
(UNiversity of Padova)
Michela eSchiavon (UNiversity of Padova)
Stefano eDall'Acqua (UNiversity of Padova)
Elizabeth A.H. Pilon-Smits (Colorado State University)
Abstract | Full Text
Selenium (Se) at very low doses has crucial functions in humans and animals. Since plants represent the main dietary source of this element, Se-containing crops may be used as a means to deliver Se to consumers (biofortification). Several strategies have been exploited to increase plant Se content. Selenium assimilation in plants affects both sulphur (S) and nitrogen (N) metabolic pathways, which is why recent research has also focused on the effect of Se fertilization on the production of S- and N- secondary metabolites with putative health benefits. In this review we discuss the function of Se in plant and human nutrition and the progress in the genetic engineering of Se metabolism to increase the levels and bioavailability of this element in food crops. Particular attention is paid to Se biofortification and the synthesis of compounds with beneficial effects on health.