Selenium supplementation alleviates cadmium-induced damages in tall fescue through modulating antioxidant system, photosynthesis efficiency, and gene expression.

Research paper by Huiying H Li, Xiaofei X Liu, Misganaw M Wassie, Liang L Chen

Indexed on: 12 Jan '20Published on: 11 Jan '20Published in: Environmental Science and Pollution Research


Selenium (Se) is beneficial for plant growth under different stressful conditions. In this study, we investigated the protective effects of Se supply from Cd-induced damages in tall fescue under Cd stress. Tall fescue seedlings (40 days old) were treated with Cd (30 mg/L, as CdSO·8/3 HO) and Se (0.1 mg/L, as NaSeO) individually and in combination using 1/2 Hoagland's solution system for 7 days. Various physiological parameters, photosynthetic behaviors, and gene expressions were measured. The results showed that Cd-stressed plants displayed obvious toxicity symptoms such as leaf yellowing, decreasing plant height, and root length. Cd stress significantly increased the malondialdehyde (MDA) content and electrolyte leakage (EL), and remarkably reduced the chlorophyll and soluble protein content, antioxidant enzyme activities, and photosynthetic efficiency. Cd stress significantly inhibited the expression of two photosynthesis-related genes (psbB and psbC), but not psbA. In addition, it significantly inhibited the expression of antioxidant system-related genes such as ChlCu/ZnSOD, CytCu/ZnSOD, GPX, and pAPX, but significantly increased the expression of GR. However, Se improved the overall physiological and photosynthetic behaviors of Cd-stressed plants. Se significantly enhanced the chlorophyll and soluble protein content and CAT and SOD activities, but decreased MDA contents, EL, and Cd content and translocation in tall fescue under Cd stress. Furthermore, under Cd stress, Se increased the expression of psbA, psbB psbC, ChlCu/ZnSOD, CytCu/ZnSOD, GPx, and PAPx. The result suggests that Se alleviated the deleterious effects of Cd and improved Cd resistance in tall fescue through upregulating the antioxidant system, photosynthesis activities, and gene expressions.