Biofortification of Stevia rebaudiana (Bert.) Plant with Selenium

Document Type : Original Article


1 Agricultural Botany, Crop Physiology and Biotechnology Dept., Debrecen Univ., Debrecen, Böszörményi u. 138., H-4032, Hungary

2 Department of Applied Chemistry, Szent István University, Faculty of Food Science, Budapest, Hungary

3 Soil and Water Dept., Kafrelsheikh Uni.

4 Plant Biotechnology Department, Genetic Engineering Division, National Research Center, 33-El-Behouth St., 12622 Dokki, Giza, Egypt


SELENIUM (Se) essentiality to humans has been recently proved while for higher plants it still gains considerable debating. Biofortification is an effective and safe way to deliver the required micronutrients to humans and / or animals at their adequate concentration. Thus, the present study aimed at enrichment stevia leaf with Se using selenite and selenate as inorganic Se forms at 0, 1, 5, and 10 mg kg-1 concentration range. Also, the released Se into drinks (i.e., water, coffee, and green tea) sweetened by Se-fortified stevia leaf was assessed. None of the two applied selenium forms had positive effect on plant growth in terms of plant growing rate and shoot biomass production in the applied concentration range. Along with it the difference in the toxicity of selenite and selenate forms was clearly visible in the vegetative parameters of the plants. Selenium added as selenite in 10 mg kg-1 concentration totally killed the plants, while lower concentrations (1 - 5 mg kg-1) showed symptoms of distress. Low Se concentration (1 mg kg-1 selenate) induced considerable release of Se from Se-fortified stevia leaves used as sweetener for some drinks including water, coffee, and green tea.


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