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      Selenium Biofortification: Roles, Mechanisms, Responses and Prospects


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          The trace element selenium (Se) is a crucial element for many living organisms, including soil microorganisms, plants and animals, including humans. Generally, in Nature Se is taken up in the living cells of microorganisms, plants, animals and humans in several inorganic forms such as selenate, selenite, elemental Se and selenide. These forms are converted to organic forms by biological process, mostly as the two selenoamino acids selenocysteine (SeCys) and selenomethionine (SeMet). The biological systems of plants, animals and humans can fix these amino acids into Se-containing proteins by a modest replacement of methionine with SeMet. While the form SeCys is usually present in the active site of enzymes, which is essential for catalytic activity. Within human cells, organic forms of Se are significant for the accurate functioning of the immune and reproductive systems, the thyroid and the brain, and to enzyme activity within cells. Humans ingest Se through plant and animal foods rich in the element. The concentration of Se in foodstuffs depends on the presence of available forms of Se in soils and its uptake and accumulation by plants and herbivorous animals. Therefore, improving the availability of Se to plants is, therefore, a potential pathway to overcoming human Se deficiencies. Among these prospective pathways, the Se-biofortification of plants has already been established as a pioneering approach for producing Se-enriched agricultural products. To achieve this desirable aim of Se-biofortification, molecular breeding and genetic engineering in combination with novel agronomic and edaphic management approaches should be combined. This current review summarizes the roles, responses, prospects and mechanisms of Se in human nutrition. It also elaborates how biofortification is a plausible approach to resolving Se-deficiency in humans and other animals.

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          Selenium and human health.

          Selenium is incorporated into selenoproteins that have a wide range of pleiotropic effects, ranging from antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects to the production of active thyroid hormone. In the past 10 years, the discovery of disease-associated polymorphisms in selenoprotein genes has drawn attention to the relevance of selenoproteins to health. Low selenium status has been associated with increased risk of mortality, poor immune function, and cognitive decline. Higher selenium status or selenium supplementation has antiviral effects, is essential for successful male and female reproduction, and reduces the risk of autoimmune thyroid disease. Prospective studies have generally shown some benefit of higher selenium status on the risk of prostate, lung, colorectal, and bladder cancers, but findings from trials have been mixed, which probably emphasises the fact that supplementation will confer benefit only if intake of a nutrient is inadequate. Supplementation of people who already have adequate intake with additional selenium might increase their risk of type-2 diabetes. The crucial factor that needs to be emphasised with regard to the health effects of selenium is the inextricable U-shaped link with status; whereas additional selenium intake may benefit people with low status, those with adequate-to-high status might be affected adversely and should not take selenium supplements. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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            Enrichment of cereal grains with zinc: Agronomic or genetic biofortification?

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              Biofortification of crops with seven mineral elements often lacking in human diets--iron, zinc, copper, calcium, magnesium, selenium and iodine.

              The diets of over two-thirds of the world's population lack one or more essential mineral elements. This can be remedied through dietary diversification, mineral supplementation, food fortification, or increasing the concentrations and/or bioavailability of mineral elements in produce (biofortification). This article reviews aspects of soil science, plant physiology and genetics underpinning crop biofortification strategies, as well as agronomic and genetic approaches currently taken to biofortify food crops with the mineral elements most commonly lacking in human diets: iron (Fe), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), iodine (I) and selenium (Se). Two complementary approaches have been successfully adopted to increase the concentrations of bioavailable mineral elements in food crops. First, agronomic approaches optimizing the application of mineral fertilizers and/or improving the solubilization and mobilization of mineral elements in the soil have been implemented. Secondly, crops have been developed with: increased abilities to acquire mineral elements and accumulate them in edible tissues; increased concentrations of 'promoter' substances, such as ascorbate, beta-carotene and cysteine-rich polypeptides which stimulate the absorption of essential mineral elements by the gut; and reduced concentrations of 'antinutrients', such as oxalate, polyphenolics or phytate, which interfere with their absorption. These approaches are addressing mineral malnutrition in humans globally.

                Author and article information

                Role: Academic Editor
                Role: Academic Editor
                07 February 2021
                February 2021
                : 26
                : 4
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                [1 ]Bangladesh Wheat and Maize Research Institute, Dinajpur 5200, Bangladesh
                [2 ]Department of Botany and Plant Physiology, Faculty of Agrobiology, Food and Natural Resources, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Kamycka 129, 165 00 Prague, Czech Republic
                [3 ]Department of Plant Physiology, Slovak University of Agriculture, Nitra, Tr. A. Hlinku 2, 949 01 Nitra, Slovakia
                [4 ]Department of Agronomy, Centurion University of Technology and Management, Paralakhemundi 761211, India; sagar.maitra@ 123456cutm.ac.in
                [5 ]Department of Agronomy, Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya, Nadia, West Bengal 741252, India; sukamalsarkarc@ 123456yahoo.com (S.S.); garai.sourav93@ 123456gmail.com (S.G.); mou.mousumi98@ 123456gmail.com (M.M.)
                [6 ]Department of Life Sciences, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Bahawalpur 58421, Pakistan; zahoorahmadbwp@ 123456gmail.com
                [7 ]International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, Patancheru, Hyderabad 502324, India; hinduvemuri@ 123456gmail.com
                [8 ]Regional Research Station, Kapurthala, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, Punjab 144601, India; rajansoils@ 123456pau.edu
                [9 ]Agronomy (Crop Nutrition) DES (Agronomy) FASC (Farm Advisory Service centre) Extension Centre of PAU, Ludhiana Posted as District Incharge at Kapurthala, Punjab 144601, India; pardeep.agron10@ 123456gmail.com
                [10 ]Department of Biochemistry and Plant Physiology, Centurion University of Technology and Management, Paralakhemundi 761211, India; pradipta.banerjee@ 123456cutm.ac.in
                [11 ]Subject Matter Specialist (Agricultural Extension), Nadia Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya, Gayeshpur, Nadia, West Bengal 741234, India; saikatsaha2012@ 123456gmail.com
                [12 ]Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (IBGE), Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University Gazipur, Gazipur 1706, Bangladesh; tofazzalislam@ 123456yahoo.com
                [13 ]CSIRO Agriculture and Food, 4067 Brisbane, Australia; alison.laing@ 123456csiro.au
                Author notes
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                © 2021 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

                : 04 January 2021
                : 05 February 2021

                selenium,trace element,nutrition,humans,animals,plants,biofortification


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