chapter  6
14 Pages

Effects of Selenium Supplementation of Field Crops

WithGunnar Gissel-Nielsen

In recent discussions about the quality of the food products of modern agriculture, lack of selenium (Se) in food has often been viewed as an example of a mineral imbalance related to intensive plant production. Selenium has been recognized as essential for human and livestock nutrition for more than 30 years, and several attempts have been made to demonstrate its essentiality for plants by depleting Se in their growth medium, but so far without success. Furthermore, none of the many Se-containing enzymes active in animals are found in plants. Consequently, interest of Se in plants is related to the quality of the plants as animal fodder and as human food. The main source of Se for animal fodder and human food is the soil-plant system. Therefore field treatment with Se is a possible way of improving the Se nutrition of livestock and people.