Selenium Application Timing: Influence in Wheat Grain and Flour Selenium Accumulation Under Mediterranean Conditions

  •  Sara Rodrigo    
  •  Oscar Santamaria    
  •  Maria Poblaciones    


Millions of people have an inadequate supply of selenium (Se) and Se-biofortified crops could prevent such deficiency. In order to establish an effective Se biofortification program under Mediterranean conditions on wheat, the objective of the present study was to evaluate the effect of the Se application timing on the Se accumulation in the grain, yield and protein content. In a field experiment, ten g ha-1 of sodium selenate were foliar-applied at four different growth stages: at 1st node detectable (GS-31); at 5th node detectable (GS-35); at boots just swollen (GS-45); and at 1st spikelet visible (GS-51), in two different growing seasons, 2010-2011 and 2011-2012. The application of Se between GS-35 and GS-45 produced the highest Se accumulation in grain, especially in humid years. The milling process caused Se losses of about 15%. In the special conditions of the Mediterranean area, a proper timing of Se application might have major importance in the Se accumulation in the grain, but due to the rainfall before application, rather than to the plant growth stage.

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