Agronomic biofortification of leafy vegetables grown in an Oxisol, Alfisol and Vertisol with isotopically labelled selenium (77Se)

Ligowe, I.S.; Young, S.D.; Ander, E.L.; Kabambe, V.; Chilimba, A.D.C.; Bailey, E.H.; Lark, R.M.; Nalivata, P.C.. 2020 Agronomic biofortification of leafy vegetables grown in an Oxisol, Alfisol and Vertisol with isotopically labelled selenium (77Se). Geoderma, 361, 114106.

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Selenium biofortification of crops is a proven technology for improving dietary nutrition. This study used isotopically labelled selenate (>99% enriched 77Se) to assess uptake and Se availability to two green vegetables, Brassica napus L (B. napus) and Amaranthus retroflexus L (A. retroflexus) grown in three contrasting Malawi soils: a Vertisol (calcareous), Alfisol (moderately acidic) and Oxisol (acidic). Plants were grown under glasshouse conditions (4 replicates; 6 kg soil per pot) following application of 77Se-enriched selenate at rates equivalent to 0, 10 and 20 g ha−1. Leaves were harvested at fortnightly intervals and the plants were then allowed to re-grow, to simulate cultivation practice. Leaf samples were analyzed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) for selenium isotopes (77Se and 78Se). The isotopic data were processed to quantify the contribution to plant Se concentration from the fertilizer and the soil. Both concentration and uptake of the fertilizer 77Se declined sharply with sequential harvests due to progressive fixation of 77Se in the soil rather than exhaustion (by uptake) of the Se applied. Initially the bioavailability of fertilizer Se was three orders of magnitude greater than the soil Se but this declined to the same order of magnitude by the end of the trial. Application of 77Se had no effect on uptake of soil-derived Se. There were marked differences between the three soils studied. The relative bio-availability of the fertilizer Se followed the sequence (Vertisol > Alfisol > Oxisol) but the two crops showed the same trend in decline of fertilizer Se uptake. Thus, fixation of selenium in the soils studied was sufficiently rapid that Se biofortification of green vegetables subject to several harvests would require multiple applications during the growing season.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 00167061
Date made live: 20 Mar 2020 12:51 +0 (UTC)

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