Biological trace element research

The influence of selenium on root growth and oxidative stress induced by lead in Vicia faba L. minor plants.

PMID 22161289


The effect of selenium (Se) on Vicia faba L. minor roots subjected to lead (Pb) stress was studied by investigating root growth, root viability, and antioxidant enzyme activity. The experiments were carried out on plants grown for 2 weeks on Hoagland medium supplied with 50 μM Pb in the form of lead nitrate Pb(NO(3))(2) and/or Se concentrations of 1.5 and 6 μM in the form of sodium selenite Na(2)SeO(3). It was shown that Pb reduced the root growth and caused serious damage in the roots, which was accompanied by metal accumulation in these tissues. The exposition of roots to Pb led to significant changes in the biochemical parameters: the MDA and T-SH content and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activity increased but the guaiacol peroxidase (GPOX) activity decreased. Moreover, Pb intensified O(2)(·-) production in the roots. Selenium at a lower concentration alleviated Pb toxicity which was accompanied by a decreased O(2)(·-) production in the apical parts of roots and increased the T-SH content and GPOX activity. However, higher Se concentration intensified MDA and T-SH accumulation and GPOX and GSH-Px activity in Pb-treated plant roots. At low concentration, Se improved cell viability whereas at high concentration it was pro-oxidant and enhanced the lipid peroxidation and cell membrane injury.