Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

The effect of iodine and selenium on growth and quality of crops

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
4.03.01  Biotechnical sciences  Plant production  Agricultural plants 

Code Science Field
B310  Biomedical sciences  Physiology of vascular plants 

Code Science Field
4.01  Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences  Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries 
pea, pumpkin, Tartary buckwheat, chicory, fortification, selenite, selenate, iodide, iodate
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (17)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  10582  PhD Ingrid Falnoga  Neurobiology  Researcher  2013 - 2016  342 
2.  05222  PhD Alenka Gaberščik  Biology  Researcher  2013 - 2016  823 
3.  15122  PhD Mateja Germ  Biology  Researcher  2013 - 2016  590 
4.  34326  PhD Aleksandra Golob  Biology  Junior researcher  2013 - 2016  114 
5.  14082  PhD Radojko Jaćimović  Physics  Researcher  2013 - 2016  726 
6.  24183  Matej Jeraša    Technical associate  2015 - 2016 
7.  36354  PhD Ana Jerše  Chemistry  Junior researcher  2014 - 2016  59 
8.  13010  PhD Nina Kacjan Maršić  Plant production  Researcher  2013 - 2016  378 
9.  21543  PhD Tjaša Kanduč  Geology  Researcher  2013 - 2016  486 
10.  00950  PhD Ivan Kreft  Plant production  Researcher  2013  905 
11.  33325  PhD Urška Kristan  Plant production  Junior researcher  2013 - 2014  33 
12.  37475  PhD Ana Kroflič  Chemistry  Junior researcher  2015 - 2016  39 
13.  18287  PhD Darja Mazej  Chemistry  Researcher  2014 - 2016  377 
14.  01873  PhD Vekoslava Stibilj  Chemistry  Head  2013 - 2016  686 
15.  16075  PhD Helena Šircelj  Plant production  Researcher  2013 - 2016  198 
16.  08597  Zdenka Trkov    Technical associate  2013 - 2016  76 
17.  30709  PhD Maja Vogrinčič  Plant production  Junior researcher  2013  32 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0106  Jožef Stefan Institute  Ljubljana  5051606000  90,028 
2.  0481  University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty  Ljubljana  1626914  66,575 
Iodine and selenium are essential elements for humans and animals, necessary for normal functioning of thyroid gland or synthesis of thyroid hormones. Slovenia was evidenced as a country with iodine deficiency, because of that fortification of salt with potassium iodide increased in 1999 to 25 mg KI/kg salt. However recommended gradual decrease of salt in nutrition reduces this nutritional source of iodine. Lack of selenium in Slovenia soils is also known, that results in reduced selenium content in plants to the values below optimal to assure adequate nutritional supply from food of vegetable origin. The effect of selenium on plants is partially known – investigated also by the research group of proposed project, while the effects of iodine are only presented in some recent studies. In addition there is no data about possible interactions between those two elements. To improve food and yield nutritional quality, it is necessary to investigate (1) how plants receive/take up added iodine and selenium (in which form, concentration, possible interactions and way of delivery), (2) the individual or combined effect on growth, crop yield and other characteristics of plants, and (3) the development of reliable analytical methods for speciation of both investigated elements in food of plant origin, because the bioavailability, mobility and toxicity of an element depends on its species. The exact chemical form in which an element is present in food is of paramount importance to determine the safety and nutritional quality of food (Khouzam et al. 2012). So, the important part of this research is speciation and fractionation of Se and I in the edible parts of plants. As model plants for the research different plants species i.e. pumpkins, peas, chicory and Tartary buckwheat will be used. Pumpkins fruit has relatively long time storage ability in the winter time, pea develop seeds, rich in proteins. Tartary buckwheat is a plant not prevalent in Slovenia, it was diminishing, but special effort was made to spread it again, because it is rich in flavonoids, acts as a useful source of iodine, and with a balanced amino-acid composition of proteins and thus suitable as a source for functional food (Wieslander et al. 2011). Chicory is a low price leafy vegetable, with long shelf-life, widely used in the temperate climate. In first year seeds of investigated sprouts will be enriched with different concentrations and combinations of Se and I (for Se: 0, 5 and 10 mg/L; for I: 0, 250, 500 and 1000 mg/L). We will assess: (1) how sprouts take up added iodine and selenium (concentration and species), and (2) if both elements have individual or combined influence on growth, and biochemical and physiological characteristic of sprouts (chlorophylls, carotenoids, fluorescence, electron transport system activity). The most suitable concentration and chemical form of element for biofortification of seeds will be determined. In second year we will foliar treat plants to investigate the impact of Se and I on crop and quality of yield of adult plants. Concentration of I and Se and compounds of Se (selenate, selenite, selenomethionine and selenocysteine) and I (iodide and iodate) will be determined in treated plants. We will investigate the non-enzymatic antioxidative response by determining glutathione content and form in different parts of plants. In the case of the approval of a bigger project stress response of plants will be assessed by investigation of reactive oxygen species metabolism. Methods for analyses of reactive oxygen species, superoxide dismutase, catalase and L-galactono dehydrogenase will be developed. In case of approval of big project in third year a part of peas grain from the yield of previous year will be used to obtain seedlings, which will be analysed for iodine and selenium concentration, and for basic physiological parameters (ETS and chlorophyll) to see if there are impacts from the previous year treatment with I and combined I and Se
Significance for science
Outcomes that rose from the project about the effect of selenium and iodine and their combinations are very important. Iodine and selenium are essential elements for humans and animals, necessary for normal functioning of thyroid gland or synthesis of thyroid hormones, thus the knowledge about the effect on plant is crucial. Concentrations and Se and I compounds and their combination mostly did not affect selected physiological characteristics of plants, not widely known from the literature. Development of method for iodine and its copmounds determination in plants is not easy task due to volatile properties of iodine and oxidation reduction processes of its compounda.
Significance for the country
In potential use of treated plants with Se and I as food for humans is very important to know, that studied concentration and forms of Se and I in the majority of cases do not negatively affected selected physiological characteristics of plants. With developed methods we can analyse the contentof iodine and its species in food.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2014, 2015, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2014, 2015, final report
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